D&D General Flip or Twist A D&D Cliche


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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Reversed magical duos where "the little one is master," for example, the wizard is the toad's familiar or the witch is the cat's familiar.

Gentle owlbears. I don't recall ever using a vicious, bestial owlbear. In my games they're (usually unique) creatures that are capable of violence but generally compassionate and druidy. (Also they tend to wear green or brown felt hats with a little red feather.)
 

Arilyn

Hero
Reversed magical duos where "the little one is master," for example, the wizard is the toad's familiar or the witch is the cat's familiar.

Gentle owlbears. I don't recall ever using a vicious, bestial owlbear. In my games they're (usually unique) creatures that are capable of violence but generally compassionate and druidy. (Also they tend to wear green or brown felt hats with a little red feather.)
I'm stealing the hats for my owlbears from now on.😍
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I wouldn't penalize gear, that'd just drive players away. Instead, I would penalize hoarding and reward spending.

Your XP gains are banked for some period of time (one or two weeks, a milestone, whatever). At the end of that period, you get those earnings all at once. However, your XP are reduced by a percentage based on how much GP you possess when that period ends. GP spent on consumables or other short-term benefits is ignored completely. GP spent on "permanent" benefits is ignored, up to a cap based on character level (e.g. if you spend 400 GP on a magic ring at level 1, some of that still counts against you, but only the one time.) Giving up--as in, not selling or trading, actually giving away--such magic items at a later date refunds the XP "paid" for them.

Players who spend extravagantly are rewarded. Players who hoard are penalized. Players who show prudence may be rewarded later, but the rewards are smaller relative to their target needs.

Money and resources are still good. They're just something you treat as needing to be used, not as something to pile up as much as possible.
How does that work - or does it at all - for a character who is saving up long-term for something big, e.g. a castle, to be built after her adventuring days are done?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Cliche: Humans rule now (or did until recently). Long ago, one or more great empires of elves and/or dwarves ruled, but those empires fell into unexplained decline and left behind lots of treasures.

The twist: Humans are complete newcomers to the continent, having only appeared in the past two human generations (meaning, there are some native humans, but not many.) There has never been a vast or powerful empire in this region before, but several of its current nations are jockeying to be the one that becomes the Empire.
Bigger twist: Humans are new to the whole world as of just a few generations or centuries ago, as a genetically-engineered species built by [Hobgoblins, Elves, Mind Flayers, Dragons, Demons, etc. - pick one] that turned out to be able to reproduce in the wild.

And the reason that species hates Humans now is that they're seen as a scientific mistake, and-or as an embarrassment.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Bigger twist: Humans are new to the whole world as of just a few generations or centuries ago, as a genetically-engineered species built by [Hobgoblins, Elves, Mind Flayers, Dragons, Demons, etc. - pick one] that turned out to be able to reproduce in the wild.

And the reason that species hates Humans now is that they're seen as a scientific mistake, and-or as an embarrassment.
I spent a bunch of effort on but never got to run a game in a world in which humans were recent arrivals from earth via magical gateway to avoid the apocalypse. They were basically "raptured" from all over both geographically and historically, so they brought with them a giant hodge podge of Earthly culture, but ended up in the same location so had to build a civilization from that.
 




EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
How does that work - or does it at all - for a character who is saving up long-term for something big, e.g. a castle, to be built after her adventuring days are done?
They would be penalized, because the whole point is you're starting from a position of privilege and needing to spend your money, not trying to build up to stuff. I thought that was the point of the cliche-busting here. To create a situation where folks are, as the kids say, "making it rain."
 

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