[MUD-Dev] Fantasy clichés (was: Acting casual about casual gamers)

Brian Green brian at psychochild.org
Sat Jul 8 10:19:11 New Zealand Standard Time 2000

Michael Tresca wrote:

> Fear the D&Dization of the fantasy genre!

Rather, fear the death of any creativity.
> My experiences at Elfwood (http://www.elfwood.com) show just how much t=
> fantasy genre has been diluted by Dungeons and Dragons.  Someone drew a=
n elf
> with long (as in, one-foot long) ears.  The artist was flamed into next=
> because "that's not how elves look."

Boy, most of those people are missing out on some good fantasy
literature, then.  The ElfQuest comics (http://www.elfquest.com) are
excellent fantasy stories without relying on typical D&D/Tolkien fantasy
clich=E9s.  For those not familiar with it, the "elves" in this world are
short and slight, but are often well-built and one tribe rides wolves.=20
Quite nice and original fantasy.
> Don't get me wrong, I cut my gaming teeth on Dungeons and Dragons, and =
> MUDs owe a lot to the original game.  But it is by no means the absolut=
> standard.

I find D&D is a nice "lingua franca" to discuss things.  Most people
interested in game development (especially pen and paper games) know D&D
and how it works.  Saying a monster is like an "AD&D Umber Hulk" puts a
pretty good image in most people's minds.  Plus, where would we be if we
couldn't talk about (and often bash) levels? :)
> Maybe I have a world populated by dragons who are only one-foot tall (l=
> the mini-dragons in Dragonrider's of Pern).  Maybe this world calls
> dragonflies dragons.  Maybe dragons are the psychological manifestation=
> the cumulative fears of the peasant populace.

Meridian 59 (the gods bless its soul) had this problem.  For some reason
the original developers put in two specific spell reagents that caused
no end to problems: dark angel feathers and blue dragon scales.=20
Unfortunately, there were no dark angels or blue dragons for the longest
time and people pined for these monsters.

At one time, the developers put in these cute (er, vicious) little
"dragonflies" which had a typical small dragon body (like D&D's
Psuedodragons) with fly-like wings.  When explained that these are what
the scales came from, people refused that explanation (especially since
none of them were blue ;).  Plus, to them dragons had to be the huge,
intelligent, multi-colored, etc, etc, etc beasts of lore.

(Eventually Dark Angels made it into the game, but few liked them 'cause
they were too tough. ;)

> Now a Tarrasque, THAT's the peak of monster perfection. >:)

*sigh*  Perhaps it is a good day to die.  Get the ring of wishes ready.=20
Where's my speed potion again?

"And I now wait / to shake the hand of fate...."  -"Defender", Manowar
     Brian Green, brian at psychochild.org  aka  Psychochild
       |\      _,,,---,,_      *=3D* Morpheus, my kitten, says "Hi!" *=3D=
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_ =20
      |,4-  ) )-,_..;\ (  `'-'  "Ritalin Cures Next Picasso"=20
     '---''(_/--'  `-'\_)               -The_Onion_, August 4th, 1999

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