Rich Burlew’s Fantasy Tropes

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I was reading over the Campaign Setting forums on the site and came across this pretty interesting and succinct encapsulation of D&D’s standard fantasy tropes.

Purpose and Style
1) Humans dominate the world.
2) Gods are real and active.
3) Magic is real and can be used by anyone who learns it.
4) Opposite alignments fight each other.
5) Arcane and divine magic are inherently separate.
6) The wilderness is separate enough from the cities to justify 3) wilderness-oriented classes.
7) There are hundreds of intelligent species of creatures, but 99% of them are considered “monsters”.
8) Arcane magic is impersonal and requires no “deal” with a supernatural being.
9) Beings from other planes of existence try to influence the mortal world, usually on behalf of gods/alignments.
10) Magic items are assumed to be available, and game balance proceeds from that assumption.
11) Magic is consequence-free.

Although I’m not convinced significant deviation from any of these points will allow one to create a distinctive campaign setting (since, I think, the most important factor in determining the feel of a campaign is how it actually plays), it certainly would lead your storylines into what I consider a more interesting narrative space.

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