- It starts in a tavern.
- There is one protagonist and his 3 or 4 friends, who are different from him in every way.
- The protagonist is awesome, because every other character tells us so. He also seems the only one capable of making decisions.
- Dark-skinned elves are always evil, and always dual-wielding.
- The only limitation on magic is that wizards must sleep before they can cast more spells.
- Character names contain apostrophes in unneces'sary and inexplicab'le pl'aces.
- 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.
- The main characters are referred to as a "party."
- The "party" consists of a fighter, a thief, a cleric, and a wizard (alternatively: warrior/rogue/healer/mage, barbarian/burglar/priest/sorcerer, etc).
- They take on a quest to either save the world or aid the village, for no other reason than that it's right.
- 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.
- Anyone, anywhere, uses "adventure" as a verb.
You Know That Fantasy Novel is Really the Author's D&D Game When...