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What do you like in a Fantasy setting?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Jorick, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. What is it about a fantasy setting that catches your eye? Are there any particular elements, tropes, or themes that you enjoy playing with and exploring in fantasy settings?

    Also, yes, I am shamelessly ripping off the idea of the recent "what do you like in a <genre> setting?" threads @Minibit has made here in the Worldbuilding Guild. Deal with it. :bsmile:


    The thing that tends to catch my attention the most is the setting's magic system. I've read books just because someone explained how magic works in them and I thought they were neat, and I've joined roleplays just because the magic system seems fun to play with.

    Aside from fiddling with magic in general, I like playing with social classes in fantasy. I tend to purposely peg my characters as being from a specific social class, then I make sure their skills and experiences make sense for it. Since most fantasy tends to be set in pseudo-Medieval settings, I can get away with extremely class discrimination and it fits perfectly into the world. It brings an additional layer of conflict to the roleplay atop whatever else exists, and I find it rather fun.
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  2. I'm a bit mainstream, I like playing different species of character besides humans, or humans in a distinctly different situation than more modern/normal settings.

    Like, I love it when I get a lot of new problems and cultural differences to work with; I can put an old character in a new shell and totally reinvent them because of these differences, and it's fun!
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  3. Oh gosh. I'll admit, most of my favorite worlds are my own, but one thing they have in common with the worlds of others I love? A magic system that is more involved than effortlessly throwing fireballs. I love magic systems that have detail, and where the system isn't used only when it's convenient. I love systems that make magic difficult to use, even if everyone has the capacity for it. I have to have each spell described in its use!

    Next, I love taking humans as they are and displaying what makes us incredible-- creativity, quick learning, stamina, cunning. We're freaking badass, and nobody writes that aspect. I only have one world where humans do not exist, and humans are revered for their accomplishments.

    Next thing I love? Much like Jorick, I adore differences in station. I love the idea that even though they may be hard-wired, all it takes is one outsider to get people who are stuck in them thinking. "Why do we worship the Empress, when all she does is sit?" "That stranger's right, a child doesn't deserve that treatment!"

    On that note, I love watching things change-- better or worse. No world should be stagnant, and if it is, I want to be right there, watching it change, seeing the cause and effect that travel throughout it.

    Sorry, I get a little excited. <3
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