Cliches in Fantasy

Last night, doing my daily 20 minute drive to my house, I looked up to the moon and saw a huge grouping of Cirrus and Altostratus clouds blocking part of the moon.
As I looked at these clouds I noticed they kind of made the shape of a Giant Tree seeming to hold the moon in its branches.

But I digress, What I’m trying to get at is that seeing that inspired me to want to put a big ass tree in a forest somewhere. Then that small bugging feeling hit me, and I thought those words that I hate hearing…
“That is not original… That is a Cliche…”
I mean what to call it?
Tree of Life? Tree of the Ancients? Life’s First?
Next it will talk and command the elves. Some villain somewhere in history will want to burn or cut it down…
Ugh… It just screams cliche!
It’s like orc barbarians, dwarf blacksmiths, and fat innkeepers.
I just feel somethings shouldn’t be overused, and while some things seem like great ideas I just am bothered by the fact it will be compared to something. I know I’m supposed to ” Make it my own.” But some cliches seem like they’ve been “made someone’s” so much they’re impossible to use.
Anyone else bothered by huge cliches in fantasy games, novels, or movies?
Even better question anyone hate using or running into cliches in tabletop games or writing?

I guess it’s just a peeve of mine.


13 thoughts on “Cliches in Fantasy

  1. I hate thinking that something I’m writing is a cliche. I despise the thought of my mind subconsciously stealing from someone else or from something I’ve read and as I write fantasy that thought is always there, there is always going to be a little voice telling me that crucial twists are too cliched, or have happened too often in other books.
    I just ignore the voice and write whatever the hell I want, at least you can change it in the editing.


    1. It annoys me, especially as someone trying to build his own fantasy world. Not just for tabletop games but for my own novels. I love the idea of doing something original or new. It gives me a sense of pride and makes my world seem unique.


      1. I’m the same, I’ve been creating a world in my novels and although it all comes from my head, I just hope no one has thought of it before and I just haven’t read it before. Originality is something I treasure and want people to see through my writing.


    1. I started reading 2nd Edition books, and falling in love with the Dragonlance series. I started playing the God awful 4th edition.
      I now play 2nd Edition Ad&d and dm pathfinder.


      1. I can’t stand 4th! That’s what I sometimes play with my friends, and since they’re all video-game people they don’t realize…

        Sweet, I have played some 2nd Edition, but not Pathfinder. Which is your favourite?



      2. Pathfinder, definitely. 4th just feels like a video game. So much health, increased damage from skills, hardly any customization, and clerics are pointless.
        Pathfinder is based off 3.5 and is everything I’ve ever wanted from a tabletop game. Realistic health and it allows for similar customization of characters like an older RPG. As in you want a character to be able to shoot two arrows at once? Well, you make your character only around that and you have a unique character instead of like 4th where you pick a skill that lets your class do that because it’s better than the other skills.
        Like a video game. It is the equivalent of tabletop world of warcraft.


      3. You have no idea how vindicating it is whenever someone agrees – 4th is a product of this gaming age, it isn’t a good tabletop!

        I know some people who are interested in Pathfinder and I plan on trying it in the near future 🙂



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