Worldbuilding Gripes and Annoyances

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY HELP & DISCUSSION' started by Jorick, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. The Worldbuilding Discussion area lacks a place to complain, so it's time to fix that. What worldbuilding things annoy you? It could be part of the process itself, or maybe you dislike some trope/cliche that other people use in their worldbuilding. Bring all your complaints about anything worldbuilding here and get some venting done.

    A word of caution though: if you're complaining about something here on Iwaku, you should probably avoid names and keep it as anonymous as possible. You'd be surprised about some of the things that get back to people, even from little corners of the site like this one, so if you're not okay with saying it to their face then keep it chill here, just in case.


    One of my own little worldbuilding annoyances is a trope that lots of people love to use. There's probably a better name for it, but I call it the super advanced ancients trope. It's the idea that there was some race or culture that randomly disappeared or died out long ago (perhaps barring one or two survivors for plot shenanigans) that was so amazingly advanced with technology and/or magic that they simply dwarf the modern levels of those things. I can tolerate this concept in sci-fi or post apocalyptic worlds (because species having different levels of advancement is logical and having a full on apocalypse to ruin an advanced civilization is also logical), but in settings where neither of those apply and it's just some super advanced group that somehow managed to create great things that modern people can barely understand but then managed to die without anyone else learning their secrets? Ugh. It's just the laziest possible way of littering your world with crazy ruins or super powerful artifacts or the also annoying “lost” knowledge that ends up moving the plot forward. I've never seen the super advanced ancients trope used in worlds that aren't sci-fi or post-apoc that didn't end up just being a slight improvement on deus ex machina, because there was actually some thoroughly uninspired forethought and foreshadowing instead of the painfully convenient plot solution being pulled completely out of nowhere. I'm sure the trope could be used in less annoying ways, but I've yet to see it done, so it remains on my shit list.
  2. Imbalance between races.

    Elves got the magic, archery and hunting down, bonus points if they also are excellent herbalists and lived for 900 years and know everything. Talk to animals and trees and shit too and those 900 years? Well they also used them to train to become bad-ass assassins.

    Dwarves are incredibly tough and strong. They have the best armour and weapons and can craft more of it. They can see very well in the dark, a long lifespan as well and have an alcohol tolerance of twenty men combined.

    Meanwhile humans are the jacks of all trades. Meaning that elves and dwarves can do every they can, except elves and dwarves usually do it usually better.

    I wish I was joking but a lot of people do this.

    And then there's the use of creation myths. I don't even want to talk about that one.
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