Do you understand what "vanilla fantasy" means anymore?

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beejazz:
SilvercatMoonpaw
brainfaceJust because your contents original and awesome (i'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it is) doesn't mean it's gonna be read or commented on (i haven't because I only read these meta threads :P). I don't think it's meaningful to assume lack of comment means your setting isn't original, and the lack of comments doesn't mean your setting isn't good or worthwhile.

Do you happen to know what will get read?  Because I don't consider that my work's bad just because no one reads it, I just have to consider whether it's worth my time to write it down.  If no one wants to comment on it that's fine, but I don't see any other practical reason to write it out.


Put a link in your sig? Bump it to the front page? Give it an evocative title (maybe in the form of a question or something humorous... "Why is there a dragon in my living room?"). People won't know right off the bat whether the setting will interest them based on a place name. "Eberron" on these boards would sink to the bottom of the forum for months at a time between updates by its author. "Metal Earth" (saw this on another board) piqued my interest immediately. Oh, and if its relevant mention it in meta or other threads. There was that one setting in the alternate elements thread that looked really good. I don't know that I gave feedback, but it got me to read it.

You don't have to be a pompous braggart, but you do need to get people to click on the link to your setting. As others have said: Sell it.

Three words?
Knight. Dragon. Wizard.

Jürgen Hubert:
Steerpike
Heh this kind of reminds me of indie music somehow.  I was thinking of Eberron and whether Eberron could be called vanilla.  On the one hand, it's not really post-Tolkienian.  On the other, many people seem to be concieving of vanilla as: "typical, standard, default; popular."  If Eberron supercedes Greyhawk as the "standard" 9or most popular) roleplaying setting, does it not itself become vanilla?  And isn't that ironic, in that part of the appeal of Eberron (at least for many) is that it deliberately strays from and works against well-worn or "vanilla" tropes?  It's like indie music that becomes popular and therefore mainstream: no longer indie anymore.


Oh, Eberron used lots of stock tropes from the start. It's just that they weren't the classical fantasy stock tropes, which makes it fairly unusual for fantasy settings and thus cannot be counted as a "vanilla" fantasy setting.

It's tropes primarily come from the pulps, with a dash of Noir thrown in. They are still very recognizable by most people and thus it is easy to get into the proper spirit of the setting - it's just that the combination of tropes used is unusual.

In my opinion, it's not necessary to try to come up with something entirely new for a setting for it to be "refreshing" - all that needs to be done is to mix up tropes that hadn't been associated with each other before. Shadowrun mixed the tropes of the fantasy and cyberpunk genre, which nobody had done before - making it something unique and interesting (at least, at the time). And my own Urbis tries to mix all the usual tropes of "vanilla fantasy" with the tropes of 19th century fiction.

SilvercatMoonpaw:
SilvercatMoonpawAs to exactly which settings I've found that I like'¦'¦'¦'¦it's getting late, so I'll have to tell you later.

Well now back to trying to answer this:

The only published RPG settings that have really worked completely for me have been related: "Teenagers from Outer Space" and "Star Riders", the latter of which is actually a semi-supplement for the former.  Both draw on Saturday morning cartoons and comedic animé to produce the sort of gonzo universe you find in something like Hitchhiker's Guide.

Moving away from that you have "RPG settings that were generally okay, although generally boring".  They include:
Uresia, Grave of Heaven: Animé fantasy.  Tries to be funny sometimes, sometimes tries to be sort of horrific, mostly falls down on being an interesting setting.
Conan, Barbarians of Lemuria: Both the same sort of "sword and sorcery basic" settings, they don't present themselves as being all that dark despite their grittiness (admittedly I haven't actually read either one more than samples).
San Angelo: A superhero setting with very little superhero-related stuff actually presented.  Manages to avoid creating the "1,000 enemies who all want to take over/destroy the world" or "we hate supers" environment that other superhero settings get into.
Monte Cook's Diamond Throne: Despite the fact that the Arcana Evolved book puts up a possible future conflict between the giants and the returned dragons the place has a very intact world for a fantasy setting.

For media settings:
Lots of things Disney: Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, and their TV spinoff from Aladdin.
Early 90s version of TMNT cartoon.
A few animé dealing with aliens coming to Earth (most of which I can't remember the names of all that well), including one where you had a seemingly modern Japan integrated into the trope "great galactic civilization" and had aliens living there but without any change in the way the place looked or really acted.

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