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TV Tropes Monday: Standard Fantasy Setting

Tweet of the Day: The Breakfast Stone


What is the Standard Fantasy Setting?

That is a good question, I’m glad you asked.

Well it can be:

  • A vague Tolkien/Dungeons & Dragons Setting,
  • Populated by “common” fantasy races like dwarves, elves, humans and orcs (or orks),
  • May also contain dragons or an ancient reptilian race,
  • Magic abounds from the earth shattering to the sublime,
  • Almost always has a pantheon of deities or a Judeo-Christian counterpart,
  • Often based on Anglo-French history from the 11th-16th century, with Japan or Ancient Rome thrown in for good measure,
  • Guns are rare or non-existent,
  • Governments range from pseudo-democratic city-states to feudal/monarchical nations run by powerful warrior nobles of the knightly persuasion.
  • Women tend to be second class citizens unless they wield magic,
  • Non-White Non-Western Europeans tend not be be visible.

Of course many variations exists but they all tend to share one or more of these characteristics. The reason for the heavy use of this trope is familiarity which makes it easy to pick up the gist of a story. But familiarity breeds contempt so writers tend to try to subvert one or more of the points raised above only to have those subversions absorbed by the genre and incorporated into the setting. This comes from the overall vagueness of the trope. The SFS doesn’t need to fulfill all the points above and in fact contains more than can be listed in a blog post, so any variations on the theme can be easily absorbed into it.

So feel free to go where everyone and their great-great-great-great-whatever has gone before, came from, and will likely return.


One comment on “TV Tropes Monday: Standard Fantasy Setting

  1. […] to your Standard Fantasy Setting. Everything here is vaguely Western European Medieval, with Kings and Queens, Swords and Sorcery […]


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