Hidden 21 days ago Post by GeekFactor
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Oh, wow. This could be drawn out into a full-length novel, I think. How to summarize?

Yes, I get sick of cliched and stereotypical characters. A few spring to mind.

The villain who's evil for absolutely no reason. People are bored. The plot needs some adrenaline. The village has grown too sleepy. Insert rampaging murderer/rapist/kidnapper who's doing it all because... hmm. His dad beat him as a kid? He grew up poor and this is the player's sad attempt to insert the "99% vs 1%" frustration into a fantasy setting? Seeing a good, well-rounded, interesting, and plausible villain is so rare. So sadly rare.

The girl who's a lethal, badass warrior despite her parents' disapproval (or they died and she was raised by overprotective brother/uncle/etc). Someone taught her on the sly, in the shadows, and now she can single-handedly behead hordes of full grown male warriors! Men slaver over her! Women want to be her! Girl power!

Characters who simply aren't believable. This could be anything from a woman who's had a stillborn child to a man who's seen decades of slaughter on the battlefield. It's almost too easy to spot the naive, young players who think that a fascinating backstory somehow equals a fascinating character. Yet that "grieving" mother will be in the tavern a week later, flirting with new love interests. That man who should be sick to death of violence and bloodshed is the first to leap forth with his fists up and his sword drawn when a troublemaker walks into town, because the naive player equates "years of soldiery" to "fearless badass" instead of the far more realistic "tired of all the fighting shit, leave me alone and in peace while I wrestle my inner demons and try to find respite before I die".

I see a lot of complaints against "overpowered" characters, god-modders, folks who refuse to let their characters fall, fail, die, etc. I don't personally encounter that problem often, perhaps because I actually prefer to play the flawed, imperfect characters who struggle and are always allowed to fail and suffer if it feels realistic to me.

I also quietly agree with Harbinger. I cannot stomach anime. I refuse to enter any RP universe where such characters can be found.

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Hidden 21 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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I am a huge supporter of creative freedom in all aspects, and that also includes being allowed to do cliches. I know you are not trying to say people shouldn't be allowed to do them, and granted I do get tired of a few myself. The arrogant bad boy with a rough past so he has an excuse to be a jerk, the "smart" character that beats an honorable character because he's devious and lucky (but people claim its because he is intelligent), etc.

But at the end of the day, it's how you use them. That's the difference between Tropes and Cliches. Sauron could be a pure evil being and that is boring to some people, but he could also be a corrupted Maiar spirit who was tainted and driven crazy by Morgoth in the War of wrath and wishes to emulate his Ainur Valar master in the 3rd age. It depends!

Stereotypes can be fun if you put interesting twists into them as well (bar actual racism). A stereotypical "girly girl" or a stereotypical "foreign laborer" can make sense in universe and even be valued as heroic and important to the plot, moral center, or climax of a story! The girly girl in Dragonball, Bulma, is also a brilliant scientist and without her a lot of things would have gone to hell, even if she can't fight. An immigrant laborer can (and probably is) also trying to do best for his family because he loves them, and moved to make a better life for them.

It's annoying when people use cliches and stereotypes just to use them, without any fluff. But they can be fun if you do them right!
Hidden 21 days ago Post by GeekFactor
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Poo. Nice to see you.
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Hidden 21 days ago Post by POOHEAD189
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@GeekFactor Nice to see you too, miss Geek <3 :)
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Hidden 21 days ago Post by PrinceAlexus
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Some are way over done yes but that's the nature of it.

People refrence of what they know. If that's TV or books, they often use said trope so the role players feeds off x trope and absorbs it into own writing.

What comes in, comes out.

Also... Edge mc edge, edge edge!
Please... Your so edgey I get cut looking at it!

Please no!
Hidden 17 days ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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Another, notably shorter cliche I have taken note of an issue with. When writing fantasy roleplaying, not everything needs an explanation. The whole backstory of the world, the events, the mechanics and philosophy of magic, the effects and express details do not need to be stated; implications of it should be. It should not feel like there is a manual being written about them, about how "X magic does Y things, but when it happens to be here it does Z." or the details of every race and the entirety of the history of their people leading up to the current era. The players, unless relevant to their character, do not need a history lesson on every major event that has transpired over the past few hundred years and the minute details working in it.

I suspect the reason that this is so common is that in order to make the prospect seem larger and more relevant, Game Masters go through tremendous effort to lay out everything verbatim, in the process destroying much of the mystery. The second reason I suspect this is, is because players have a difficult time grasping just what they wish to do or fleshing it out without delving into the mechanics of it. We, fellow players or readers alike, do not need to know your fireball magic costs three points of mana, burns at this specific temperature, was learned from a college of wizardry and requires the phrase, "Ignatorio!" in an obscure language's specific dialect to be cast. This is an issue of "Show, do not tell." failing to be adhered to.

Likewise, a related issue spawns is that every player under the sun seems to want to develop their own intricate system; there is no need for three different forms of wizarding magic, warlock pact magic, sorcerous bloodlines, rune magic specifics, then spheres of magic used by some. All of them are "arcane" and it has become a cliche to try and stuff as many disparate things into it, almost all of them loaned from media, for the sake of appealing to the audience rather than just say, "You tell me how you manage it, I will decide if that seems reasonable or not in the world."

Summarized, the cliche of spelling everything out in fantasy and eliminating the mystique and wonder of it is dreadfully overdone.
Hidden 17 days ago Post by Superboy
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Another, notably shorter cliche I have taken note of an issue with. When writing fantasy roleplaying, not everything needs an explanation. The whole backstory of the world, the events, the mechanics and philosophy of magic, the effects and express details do not need to be stated; implications of it should be. It should not feel like there is a manual being written about them, about how "X magic does Y things, but when it happens to be here it does Z." or the details of every race and the entirety of the history of their people leading up to the current era. The players, unless relevant to their character, do not need a history lesson on every major event that has transpired over the past few hundred years and the minute details working in it.

I suspect the reason that this is so common is that in order to make the prospect seem larger and more relevant, Game Masters go through tremendous effort to lay out everything verbatim, in the process destroying much of the mystery. The second reason I suspect this is, is because players have a difficult time grasping just what they wish to do or fleshing it out without delving into the mechanics of it. We, fellow players or readers alike, do not need to know your fireball magic costs three points of mana, burns at this specific temperature, was learned from a college of wizardry and requires the phrase, "Ignatorio!" in an obscure language's specific dialect to be cast. This is an issue of "Show, do not tell." failing to be adhered to.

Likewise, a related issue spawns is that every player under the sun seems to want to develop their own intricate system; there is no need for three different forms of wizarding magic, warlock pact magic, sorcerous bloodlines, rune magic specifics, then spheres of magic used by some. All of them are "arcane" and it has become a cliche to try and stuff as many disparate things into it, almost all of them loaned from media, for the sake of appealing to the audience rather than just say, "You tell me how you manage it, I will decide if that seems reasonable or not in the world."

Summarized, the cliche of spelling everything out in fantasy and eliminating the mystique and wonder of it is dreadfully overdone.


I doon'ttt...think I agree with this sentiment, almost at all. Obviously, there's a point where a GM is stuffing too much detail into their OP and droning on when it isn't necessary, but you can't expect someone to play a wizard with a magic system that's completely undefined. That'd be like handing someone a DnD character sheet but erasing half of the stats and telling them that those are a 'mystery' they'll learn about later. On top of that, just leaving it up to the player to define is just going to create a crapshoot where nothing between characters is coherent; you'll end up with one guy that fights like Harry Potter and someone else that uses magic like they're a superhero.

Likewise, the history of a world is pretty important for character creation, no? You don't have to go through creating every town and defining every event that's happened since mankind first stood upright, but if your world has no definition then the characters know literally nothing about the world they've inhabited presumably for their entire lives. Giving players lore to draw on for inspiration is necessary for keeping the game coherent and everything grounded in the same foundations; without those foundations, you're going to get a whole lot of weird shit all thrown together that makes absolutely no sense.

You can have mystique and wonder, but that shouldn't come from the wizard not knowing if his fireball is going to kill the enemy in front of him or explode the entire party in nuclear pyre.
Hidden 16 days ago 16 days ago Post by The Harbinger of Ferocity
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There is a difference,@Superboy, between saying "Wizards are studious souls who use magical reagents and implements, words of power, and strange gestures to evoke a wide variety of magic." to set the tone of just how said magic works rather than spell all of it out for players every single possible detail and rule of it. It is not terribly hard for a reader to then use external and topic sensitive context to determine just what is meant by the word "wizard" in this case. If there is a failing, it is on the reader's behalf or the context of the rest of the world is not being presented sufficiently. If something is so unclear it can be revisited with examples.

The other issue you defined later with clashing themes and understandings falls under one universal failure of most players, thread owners too at times, and that is communication, as well as the fact that said characters should be vetted in the long run. The former is the fact players should be obligated to question things they do not understand and or work directly with the Game Master to formulate a suitable outcome. Likewise, a Game Master should reject any character, as the latter superhero example, if it does not fit the theme.

The matter I am speaking to is not some general summarized history, it is the habit of defining every major event in history and outlining the content of each individual element. Again, let me repeat this another way, this is the difference of giving the general history of the world and writing several paragraphs of extremely specific events for each element; the story itself versus a synopsis. Only certain characters should be privy to certain information, spelling it all out grandiosely in the interest check or out-of-character section is the issue I take.

For the last example, if said player is so unfamiliar to their own character and hasn't defined loosely anything at all about what they can or cannot do, or has fallen into a game where a Game Master would impose such a penalty, perhaps they should look for another game. Harsh as that may be, individuals have their own responsibilities. It is not that difficult to summarize a fireball as, "A spell that creates an explosion in a small area with magical flames. It can reach a medium to long distance but has no pressure to its detonation." To loosely encapsulate just what it does, leaving the rest to be defined in the game.

Again, let me reiterate, my issue stems from those topics - which are in no short supply as of now - that feel the need to define everything in their world. No less. I am fairly certain this cliche is not likely to disappear soon as I believe the issue to be firmly nested in the idea that in order to be "grand and epic", many are under the illusion that more is more, when less is more in some cases, particularly fantasy.
Hidden 15 days ago Post by Stormflyx
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I will gladly soak up any cliche if the writer behind it is writing well, giving dimensions and quirks and fleshing out the 'cliche' beyond the skeleton.

I really don't want to read a unique character/story concept free of cliches if they are written poorly.

Cliches and tropes are not bad, but the execution can be.
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Hidden 9 days ago Post by GeekFactor
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To each, their own, but even fabulous writing cannot save a painfully overdone cliche for me. I've seen some people who are brilliant writers, perfect grammar, extensive vocabulary, well-formed sentences and paragraphs, sensible pacing, etc. But the character, and therefore the story, that they want to put out into the world still falls flat. Because it takes more than *mechanics* to make a good story. You can sense when a writer has no real connection to their character, or their reader, or to themselves. You can sense when a writer lacks heart and depth and feeling, and is merely placing the proper pieces in the proper order in the hopes of gaining admiration and acceptance. It's hard to describe exactly what I mean here, and I apologize, because I'm probably failing in conveying what I want to say. To try and summarize; a fantastically-written trope is just as unappealing to me as a great character idea that's poorly executed. I don't want either one.

Besides that, one a cliche goes 'beyond the skeleton', it stops being a cliche.

Hidden 9 days ago Post by Gentlemanvaultboy
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I don't like the cliche of an ultra abusive experiment program. For example, the old "turn kids into super soldiers but then treat them like crap so they escape and now they're on the run" plot. The kids will get abused, beaten, killed, and generally get treated as though their lives are cheap.

The problem is that their lives can't possible be cheap. Even the most evil corporation or government black site would know these people are the end result of a whole lot of money being spent, money supplied by someone that expects a product to come out the other end. Not to say their wouln't be discipline and restricted freedoms, but most of the time it feels like the creators just treat them badly so the characters have an excuse to hate the antagonist and escape.
Hidden 8 days ago Post by Stormflyx
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You can sense when a writer lacks heart and depth and feeling, and is merely placing the proper pieces in the proper order in the hopes of gaining admiration and acceptance. It's hard to describe exactly what I mean here, and I apologize, because I'm probably failing in conveying what I want to say. To try and summarize; a fantastically-written trope is just as unappealing to me as a great character idea that's poorly executed. I don't want either one.

Besides that, one a cliche goes 'beyond the skeleton', it stops being a cliche.


Then in that case it’s simply not captivating writing and falls into the 2nd. There is more to writing than grammar, use of big words, and pacing.

Hidden 8 days ago Post by Lady Amalthea
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For me, any cliche or overdone trope doesn't reside in the idea or character type but in the Rper. Pretty much everything have been over done in this world. There really isn't anything original. That being said, on the flip side, everything is original if it is your first time doing it. So sure, people could have done the same thing a thousand times but if it is the first time you have done it then it is new and fresh.

What I cannot stand is when someone breaks free or tries to break free from what they usually do in Rp and then fall back into the same rut as before. The D.S. or the Default Self. This is you rping as you would react or what you think would be funny or hilarious at the time and not staying true to the original character concept or where you wanted the character to evolve. As a GM who over sees many Rp's, much of whom have Rpers that are in more than one I host, I see this a lot. The characters will start off great and then over time I see them melt and meld into the D.S. so no matter the Rp, no matter the character, it just feels as if I am reading the same thing from the same character and I could just copy and paste 1 post to another Rp and no one would notice the difference because now there is no true difference beyond the surface.

That is the "cliche" I can't stand. When we lose the character and fade back away to the D.S.
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