Favorite (Or Least Favorite) Fantasy Tropes

Hello, everyone!

While I’ve mentioned how fantasy is my favorite genre at heart in a couple other forum posts, I haven’t seen much discussion as to what other people like / don’t like in Episode fantasy stories. I know my own tastes, but I’d like to hear from you!

  • What tropes do you like seeing in fantasy stories? (Can be as broad or specific as you like.)
  • What do you not like seeing?

Answer one of the questions, or both, or add something new; whichever you think is more fun! :dragon:

That being said, I respectfully ask that no one uses that as an invitation to make this a self-promotion/story promotion thread. There are many other topics made for that exact purpose. Referencing fantasy stories you love as part of the discussion is perfectly fine, however! :slight_smile:


I don’t like seeing so much explanning in the beginning, most fantasy stories I read , jump between the lines like this " Once the kindom was like this ". It makes it very hard to read sometimes. Of course they do have to explain stuff sometimes, it’s Fantasy. But they should let the reader pick up some clues for themselves :slight_smile:


Forbidden love that’s realistic. Not necessarily vampire and werewolf and all the in between, but of course something different. I also love secret schools (ex. Hogwarts) or an adventure to find a lost location or relic (ex. Lord of the Rings). Also try adding different mythical or fantasy beings/creatures like genies, witches, mermaids, etc.

I rarely see anything too bad in the fantasy genre, but as mentioned before, avoid vampires and werewolves unless you’re doing something very original. I think they’re a little overused. That’s all.


Me too. I would love to see more well-written forbidden love plots, and a little more variation to the kinds of magical creatures people use as well. I’m outlining a plot involving dragons at the moment (haven’t seen them being used in Episode stories so far; maybe once or twice), though who knows when I’ll end up releasing.


I would love to see more dragons, goblins, archers, witches, fairies stories. I am currently writing a vampire story, which is my first fantasy story. I will probably be working on a witch, dragon, or archer story soon.

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I haven’t read too much fantasy on Episode, so this may only apply to novels, but I don’t like starting to read a story and the entire first chapter is basically just a long-winded description of the world. Only share the information readers need to understand the basic beginning of the story, and present it in an interesting way if you need that exposition. Otherwise, bring us right into the story.

The main reason I don’t read much fantasy on Episode is because most of it seems to be romance focused on vampires and werewolves. I wouldn’t mind either one if the author was original about it, but I don’t like scrolling forever just to find one story that’s different from the others.

As for my favorite fantasy tropes, I love when there’s a magical system or a fictional creature or culture and you can tell the author put a lot of thought into it. I love finding small details and seeing them stay consistent throughout.

Traveling between worlds may be a little overdone, but I love it anyway, especially when the characters have realistic reactions to their situations (nobody’s going to be perfectly calm, let’s be real).

Well-researched mythology is a thing of beauty. Especially when it goes beyond the usual Greek and Roman pantheon, or when the author finds a way to blend different myths and folklore into the same world.


Yes, I love fantasy! I don’t read it as nearly as I’d like to but it’s definitely in my top 5 genres :slight_smile:

Things I like seeing

European Medieval setting (I’m a sucker for great architecture)
Redemption arcs - where the the villain redeems themselves at the end
Unrelated characters coming together to form a union/pact of some type.

What do you not like seeing?

Something I’ve noticed in fantasy stories be that on episode or novels is that because writers are so fixated on world building they often forget the core part of any story: the characters. It’s understandable to get overwhelmed as a fantasy writer (In my opinion it’s one of the hardest to write - there is far more research that has to go into it) but regardless of this, it is still a story and people need to connect with it. I’ve seen really well done worlds, but then the characters are meh, they aren’t as developed they don’t have obvious inner/external conflicts, they have group goals, but not personal ones, no personal motivation etc. I think if I were a fantasy writer I would try to focus on character building just as much as world building.

A trope I don’t like seeing is when the protagonist is a female and her sole purpose is just, being a woman. Being a woman isn’t a personality trait! I hate when writers make the badass heroine a person who lacks personality but we’re supposed to like her just because she’s a woman who kicks ass. There’s so much potential for character development, don’t skimp out!


Definitely doesn’t apply to just novels, I’m afraid. I’d hate to imagine how many times I’ve had Episode fantasy stories - even good ones - put me through all the background of the royal lineage, a whole sequence listing all their magical creatures, and/or long narration on why x fantasy world has developed into what it is at present.

I like the things you listed very much, although stories with the “normal mc gets thrown into a fantasy world” trope don’t typically hold my interest. If the player character is interesting and has a defined personality (not just a blank slate), I can get pretty into it! :slight_smile:

And yeah, in my experience, good fantasy on Episode is really hard to find. It doesn’t help that there isn’t a whole lot of fantasy clothes/features. I like to think it still holds potential, especially since overlays can do so much and tappables are on their way.


So true! It’s always sad when the author implements really interesting or original worldbuilding, and the people in it are all dry, cut-out characters. Sometimes I get the sense that the author is afraid of making their creations too flawed or too unlikable? Which is missing the point for me. I don’t need to like them; I just need to like seeing what they’ll do next… Although I would take bland characters over authors going “yeah, this would-be rapist king or whatever? he’s just a man with some flaws and he’s cool now.” :skull: That isn’t… that’s not a redemption arc.

I’m so, so tired of lackluster female fantasy mcs. It’s taken years off my life.


this is DEFINITELY a good topic. Now, this helping me fr.

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Thank you! Glad to hear it’s been helpful. :heart:

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Ooh, such a good thread!

So fantasy is one of my all time favorite genres! I still re-read the series that got me into fantasy even all these years later. :heart: Let’s see here… some of my favorite and least favorite.


  1. The Fool and the Fool’s journey.

I don’t know if this phrase sounds familiar, but one of my favorite things is what is considered a Fool’s arc. It’s how the hero starts off this… we’ll call them a noob for lack of better word at the moment, and knows nothing and understands nothing of what’s going on. The series or book is the hero’s journey to reach a better state of being. It’s just like the Tarot Card named the Fool. In tarot, the Fool is Major Arcana 0 and the rest of the major arcana cards are the Fool’s journey until he reaches XX, which is called the World, where the Fool has gone on this wordly journey and has come out wiser and better for it after all of the trials and tribulations.

  1. Well thought out Fantasy races

When somebody takes the time to create a race and give them culture and history and makes the creatures/people of that race these wonderful additions, there’s nothing I love more. While cookie cutter races are something that don’t impress me, I do love well fleshed out ones. Especially in a beautiful, fleshed out world of their making. Eugh, I get so excited just thinking about! Let’s see some new elves, dwarves, sprites, creatures of whatever your design! I’m ready for them!

  1. Witches

I LOVE stories where witches are the main characters, I just love witches in general, especially when the story has a well fleshed out system of magic. I like it when the witches are actually good guys and are just bad-ass heroes in general. I do have to say, however, that I can be picky when it comes to my witch stories. I look for specific magic systems and story plots.

Least Favorite

  1. Black and white Good vs. Evil

I don’t like it when the good guy is just GOOD and the bad guy is just straight up BAD. Where there is no in between and it’s this battle where they fight JUST because one is supposed to be good and the other HAS to be bad. WHY does the villain do bad things? Why are they fighting? What does the villain hope to achieve? Why does the hero judge and dislike the villain so much? I often like it when the characters are more grey and there is more depth to the conflict other than the fact that they HAVE to fight because one is good and one is evil.

  1. Prophecies

Okay, so this one definitely deserves a little more explanation. I don’t detest prophecy cliches, but they have to be done in a certain way for me to not my roll my eyes at this point. Usually, the prophecies, for me, just rule over too much of a story. It’s a tool a writer can use so they can be lazy and not find their way around easy plot holes or issues. “Oh! They can’t do that because of the prophecy, or they HAVE to do that because of the prophecy!” This cliche can definitely be spiced up to be interesting, but that doesn’t happen enough for my liking.

  1. Magic without a system/all powerful magic

When author’s have a magic system that is just TOO powerful. Where they put no thought into it, just that they want it to move their story forward. Magic can be a wonderfully complex and amazing system if you take the time to flesh it out! I LOVE magic in stories, but it needs to have some sort of system. It shouldn’t be that everything is available to you at the snap of your fingers. Which brings me to my next point.

  1. Chosen Ones with TOO much power.

While I typically don’t mind Chosen One stories, I usually have to turn away when they’re way too overpowered. WHY does your hero have to be able to do everything and be better than everyone at everything? Even those who have studied magic or sword play or whatever years and years longer than the hero? Give the hero weaknesses! Don’t be afraid to make them struggle and work for it BECAUSE they’re not the best at everything. They’re allowed to be talented, but they can’t automatically be a pro at everything they touch.

I might have more at a later date, but this is all I can think of for now! :sweat_smile:


Oh, thank you, I love these! Always cool to see what different people are drawn to.

  • I feel the fantasy races thing deep in my core. There are just so many different rules and concepts people could create that don’t feel… Diet Tolkien? Like, sure, you can have elves be immortal and secluded from other races if you want, but what’s something new we can bring to it? How can we make it our own?

  • The concept of The Prophecy/The Chosen One being subverted in stories is a cool one. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a Chosen One plot revolving around the thematic conflict of Free Will vs Fate? Are you really free or are you destined to make certain choices? All kinds of things you can do with that.

  • You absolutely have to give limits to your magical system. You’re so right. Otherwise, what’s stopping people with bad intentions from raining down destruction up and down the countryside? I think more authors also need to flesh out whether their world’s magic is inherent to certain people, if it can be learned by anyone, or something in-between. Basically, authors just need to ask themselves more questions during the worldbuilding process.

  • No more overpowered-from-the-start MCs. [Mr. Incredible voice] I’m not… strong enough.


I love witch covens, fantasy races with great characters, secret societies, fantasy stories that perfectly mix in drama as well, and various characters! I also like it when the evil character is just a badass.

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Secret societies can be unique and interesting! I haven’t really seen them on episode too much, with the exception of one featured story from way back in the classic days.


You should read “College Days: The Second Sorority”! It’s great

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I personally adore chosen one stories ;-; I’m so weak for them like, ah chosen one.

However, one thing I don’t like is some of the repetition in biographies for chosen one stories. For example, parents dead / killed / had to give up child. I also don’t like how powers occur on like birthdays xD

Hmm, I actually haven’t read that many vampire / werewolf stories. I know they are filled in the trending, but I think I’ve only read one? and so I don’t really have an opinion of them.

Reading stuff that has been said above… I have an obsession with secret societies as well - like it’s really bad but I think my story has like eight secret societies hahaha


The biographies… :sob: I understood instantly lmao. I think fantasy on Episode in general has a bad habit of giving too much prologue/too much of the same backstory across various stories. I can’t count on one hand how many princesses had parents who were considered by everyone to be “good and just rulers” and “the kingdom prospered under their reign.”


I think this shows a weakness in worldbuilding as well, since it’s often the exact same worldbuilding across these stories. Let’s see a struggling kingdom for once, whether it’s despite or because of the rulers’ actions. Let’s see princesses whose parents are “okay rulers” or don’t stand out, but who managed to make some enemies, leading to whatever the plot will be. Or main characters whose lineage has nothing to do with their storyline!

Admittedly, a story I’m working on does have a noblewoman whose parents were seen as good/just rulers, but that’s only because the family was cursed so that if they returned to their usual violent ways, they’d all die. So there’s an actual reason in their case.


Exactly. It really does writers a disservice, because having imperfect rulers could make so much good conflict for their stories - and easily so. I wish more authors would give their parental royalty more impossible choices, situations where they couldn’t have helped everyone no matter what they did, and just let that stir the pot. Or at least write less backstories where it goes like: this evil character came to steal the throne and ruined everything, so the mc’s parents had no part in their kingdom’s fall. It’s just not realistic.gif

Honestly, your idea is cool. When people put thought into their worldbuilding, any “cliche” can become something interesting. Drop me a link when you publish if you like! :v: