You Know That Fantasy Novel is Really the Author's D&D Game When...

(Remix)
  1. It starts in a tavern.
  2. There is one protagonist and his 3 or 4 friends, who are different from him in every way.
  3. The protagonist is awesome, because every other character tells us so. He also seems the only one capable of making decisions.
  4. Dark-skinned elves are always evil, and always dual-wielding.
  5. The only limitation on magic is that wizards must sleep before they can cast more spells.
  6. Character names contain apostrophes in unneces'sary and inexplicab'le pl'aces.
  7. The villain is immensely more powerful than the main characters, but despite their obvious bent on stopping him, he doesn't face them until they are strong enough to defeat him.
  8. The main characters are referred to as a "party."
  9. The "party" consists of a fighter, a thief, a cleric, and a wizard (alternatively: warrior/rogue/healer/mage, barbarian/burglar/priest/sorcerer, etc).
  10. They take on a quest to either save the world or aid the village, for no other reason than that it's right.
  11. Despite the fact that there are many characters more powerful than the protagonists, no one else is willing or able to take on the quest.
  12. Anyone, anywhere, uses "adventure" as a verb.
Got more?

21 comments:

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I can never get past #6. Perhaps this is why I write science fiction. :)

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

13. They find things or are given things along the way that will take them through the next leg of their journey in safety, or give them the power to defeat the villain.

Adam Heine said...

Heh. I remember a Freakazoid episode that made fun of that trope. He kept picking up random objects and was told, "You never know when you might need it." Of course he ended up using every single one.

Anonymous said...

The use if "gold pieces" as the key monetary term
Bear

Anonymous said...

*of
Bear

Ben Spendlove said...

I don't know, but your pictures are bringing back long-buried memories. Was there a TV show called D&D? I must have watched it.

Cap'n Heine said...

That was more making fun of the adventure game trope that anything you can pick up is needed for some puzzle somewhere.

Kelly Barnes said...

There is a line map of "The Realm(s)" that can be overlaid on a grid.

Christine Tyler said...

14. The Hero MUST sleep with a femme fatale villainess in order to unlock the door/box/steal the key etc.

If female, the hero must seduce the villain in order to unlock the door/box/steal the key/throw him off guard so male hero can escape/kill him.

MattyDub said...

There's a funny bit in the new Stephenson novel, Reamde, about the apostrophes. There is an event that is related during the story called the Apostropocalypse. Oh, Neal, what would I do without you?

Christine Tyler said...

With the crux treasury or villain's lair lying right in the center. If there is a castle on the edge it is a decoy.

Christine Tyler said...

And really, you had me at #1. I would also add that whatever is drunk at the tavern is referred to as Ale, and whatever woman is at this tavern is referred to as Wench.

If she's to be a main character, she will be called Wench by some gross indiscriminate man, whom the main character will challenge to a bar fight or frown upon.

We will then be told why she hates being a bar wench, and only does so so she can provide for her ailing family or small child that will be killed off later.

If the wench is serving the hero and he likes her round behind, she will remain "wench" and like it.

Christine Tyler said...

Also, the hooded or drunk men at the next table will be discussing the state of the Empire, either its fall from mirth and happy grace, or its over-taxation and tortured peasants. Also, rumors of what it would take to defeat said empire, all with the accuracy of a soothsayer. They will do this loud enough for the reader to hear through the pages.

Donna Hole said...

I've never understood the love of apostrophes in the names. Perhaps they are all modeling after Anne McCaffrey? Come to think of it, Tolkien's names had a lot of squiggles in them.

......dhole

Matthew MacNish said...

You write this post as if there were something wrong with a novel being an extremely obvious translation of a campaign module. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed The Dragonlance Chronicles as a boy, even though they were taken directly from a campaign. Would they stand up now that I'm not an adult? Perhaps not, but The Death Gate Cycle does (I know, not a D&D module, but a clear-cut maturation of the same authors skills).

Matthew MacNish said...

Did you ever play table-top RPGs, Susan?

Matthew MacNish said...

There are some killer Sci-Fi ones.

Matthew MacNish said...

Yes, they entered and exited through a theme park. It was animated, on Saturday mornings in the 80s.

Anonymous said...

@Christine...so right on!!!

Bear

Nick said...

For some reason, the party always fights orcs and goblins for the first few chapters....

maine character said...

I have no idea what most of this means, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.