D&D 5E Which played-out D&D trope needs to die?


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Laurefindel

Legend
It just occurred to me that this whole thread is essentially all of us patting ourselves on the back by demonstrating our superiority over other (unspecified) gamers.

Maybe that's the RPG trope (ritual?) I'm most tired of.
Yes, yes. You are absolutely right. Good job (pat on back) :)

But seriously, yeah. Our ego often gets the best (or worse?) of us, even we we try not to be elitist.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But his marriage and family bonds very well may be.

Oi. Quibbling over definitions. I dunno if it is fair to present such an argument before working definitions out beforehand.

Stable happy relationships are not stable happy home life. You aren't happy in your home life if you aren't feeding your kids, or you are about to lose said home. For this, we can give you the quote: "Tweedly-dee! I just got the eviction notice, and my kids are dying of malnutrition, but we are soooo happppeeeyyyy!" - said by nobody, ever.

And economic stress is the most common cause of divorce. Economic instability is a leading indicator ("leading" not as in "top", but as in "this red light flashes before that one") of relationship instability.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
If you cannot put food on the table, your life is not "happy and stable".
Perhaps, but some people just get bored and want a different life.

And 18-20somethings think they can't/won't ever die, so adventuring doesn't seem that crazy a career path.

In fact, they might come from the most happy, stable, boring family ever, and turning to adventuring is a form of rebellion.
 


ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
If you are bored, you aren't very happy, so again, this seems to fail the basic point.
I think you can be bored without having the background of a tortured soul, unless you are defining happy as "all material and existential/metaphysical needs met", and no, one in such a state wouldn't do anything, much less adventure, without being forced.

But even there, it could simply be that they had attained enlightenment atop a mountain peak, until a butterfly of the wrong shape landed on their knee. Thus, nirvana denied and they must go out into the world.

And you don't have to be distinctly not-happy to get wanderlust.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I think someone said some variant of this early on, but the trope that certain aspects of D&D need to go because I don't like them.

While we're at it, the trope that D&D must reflect the values and morals of the real world, rather than, I don't know, a fantasy world of imagination that is beholden to its own internal logic.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Tropes exist for a reason. It's clumsily trying to subvert tropes that is likely to cause a narrative problem.


This is a case in point. If someone has a stable happy homelife it doesn't make much sense for them to throw it all away and become an adventurer.
Escaping abusive parents or parental expectations; adventuring is seen as a rite of passage among their people; PC was bored in their quaint little village and decided to leave to see the world: PC got kicked out of home or exiled from their homeland (for stealing everything in sight, for making a pact with an eldritch entity for magic, or becoming a sorcerer, for accidentally stabbing someone while practicing with the blade, etc.); parents are alive but missing (maybe they were adventurers too!) and the PC is trying to find them; parents are living under the thumb of the BBEG and the PC escaped in order to find out how to defeat it...
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
Perfectly good background. However, not a perfectly good counter argument.

If you cannot put food on the table, your life is not "happy and stable".
To be fair, AtomicPope said "I have a hard rule that both of your parents are alive and well." Nothing about happy or stable there.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
How about a happy, well-adjusted family like in the Incredibles, except instead of fighting crime as family they kill monsters and take their stuff? "The family that slays together, stays together."
In one Eberron game I'm in, I'm playing an ex-soldier who opened a bar in Sharn and adopted two kids (mid-late teens, both also PCs). We adventure together, although I go pretty mama bear during combat. I don't think my character's parents are alive, but she's in her late 30s and there was a world war going on for ages, so the orphan route isn't really edgy so much as probably typical for the setting.
 

Oofta

Legend
How about a happy, well-adjusted family like in the Incredibles, except instead of fighting crime as family they kill monsters and take their stuff? "The family that slays together, stays together."
I've done that more than once with children of retired PCs, sometimes mine, sometimes another player's. Basically good relationship with the folks, but my PC wanted to prove themselves or the parental units are busy running a kingdom/business/whatever else they're doing while retired.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
This "wake up naked" can be interesting, but it requires buy-in during session zero.

As a player, our team began the adventure in an analogous "in media res".

The problem was, we had all thought thru and written up our character including thinking carefully about what items we should pack. At that point, being taken away from our homes and appearing in water, in total darkness, without clothes or other items, FELT like inappropriate railroading.

This friend is a good DM who we trust. But still, I heads up would have been nice. "This adventure starts with no items, so dont bother writing any down on your character sheet." "Ok, no problem."
When I did the raiders/death hunt campaign opener, the PCs got to use their gear in the first encounter.

Then, when stripped completely naked and told to run (with a head start), they were also informed that all of their gear had been scattered across the island they had to traverse to win their freedom.

They did find some of it. They also found some things from previous prey.
 


MGibster

Legend
Pacifist PCs. Every time someone brings one to me thinking it's something cool original or even freaking fitting the game, my blood starts to boil.
I've had some who low grade pacifist in that they wouldn't kill but they would use violence to defend themselves or another person. I tend not to allow hard core pacifist unless a player can explain to me how their character would be useful.
Think of some of the crab fisherman on Deadliest Catch. Some are married, even happily. And, a few times a year, they risk their lives crab-fishing. They go from greenhorn (level 0/level 1) to deckhand (level 2) to veteran (level 3). These are guys who, during most of the year, might run a charter boat operation.
Hell, let's think of Vikings. Many of these dudes farmed the land and had families but would hit the seas from time-to-time to raid, pillage, or trade.
 


pming

Legend
Hiya!
It just occurred to me that this whole thread is essentially all of us patting ourselves on the back by demonstrating our superiority over other (unspecified) gamers.
You say that like it's a bad thing. ;)

All the time, over every little thing...yeah, that's bad. But every now and then, when you feel good about something you did or do, a nice little bet of selfish praise is a good thing. :) Pride encourages you to keep doing that and do better. Too much pride, well, WHOLE other kettle of biscuits!

Maybe that's the RPG trope (ritual?) I'm most tired of.
Huh...kind of a weird one, but hey. To each their own, right? :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Azuresun

Adventurer
In one Eberron game I'm in, I'm playing an ex-soldier who opened a bar in Sharn and adopted two kids (mid-late teens, both also PCs). We adventure together, although I go pretty mama bear during combat. I don't think my character's parents are alive, but she's in her late 30s and there was a world war going on for ages, so the orphan route isn't really edgy so much as probably typical for the setting.

Heck, one character I enjoyed playing was an actual orphan, who still had close and friendly relationships with the lay clergy who ran the orphanage and bought her up, and other children who had stayed there with her. Being an orphan doesn't mean you're a loveless loner who never formed any ties to anyone.
 
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