Idea Guild > Sagely Advice

Existential Writing Genre Crisis

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I remember when I started out my current campaign setting. It was originally supposed to be an easy going ad-lib to give an exscuse for a bunch of combat. But as time went by, I needed to keep track of my Npcs, what they had said, names of places and dates etc. And that was just a homebrew style adapted from the game Talisman, which has now turned into D&D 4e, a massive timeline stretching back to the birth of the planet (several million years) and over 100+ Npcs (and god do I regret not having planned things better from the start now).

It sounds like I'm digressing, but guess how the campaign started out? A whole bunch of clich├ęs. We had the prophecy, the great destiny, a darth vaderesque father and of course the ever present mysterious Mcguffin, which was just an exscuse to get him out traveling(yes him, it's a solo campaign). It didn't feel like such a big deal, but then I stumbled upon Tv tropes... And all of a sudden I saw my folly. So now I try to focus on politics, the actions of factions instead and avoid all the obvious pratfalls. And even though I have a big ass map, I have no intention on letting him travel all over the whole world. His character personifies another archetype though, the dishonoured noble turned rogue.

Having said that, fantasy as a whole seems to be moving away from these stereotypes as well. The beautiful woodland dwelling elves now live in ghettos, they've gone from good to arrogant and insular. And tieflings are a fresh take on things. But as always, dwarves will be dwarfs. Which is as should be in my opinion.


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