There's been too much sweetness and light in this blog recently, hasn't there? So, Inspired by this thread: a list of tropes/cliches that I'd be happy to never see in a game, novel, or film, again, ever. Ever.
1. It is evil, so it talks in a deep, husky, sinister darth vader type voice. Exemplified by the Lord of the Nazgul in Peter Jackson's Rings films. Now become such a cliche that it is no longer even remotely sinister or frightening, but just sounds like a guy with a cold wheezing into some kind of voice synthesizer.
2. It is an alien race, and yet it looks like a human but with an animal head. Just fuck off if the best you can come up with for an alien species is a bloke with a lion/wolf/eagle's head. Especially if the race has the percieved characteristics of that animal species - like pride and laziness for a lion. Bonus points if your animal-head race has a name that can be identified with the creature, like 'Aslan'.
3. She is a woman in a man's world, and is gorgeous and can kick ass with the best of them, but she has an attitude because nobody gives her any respect, and eventually she falls in love with the hero. There is so much that annoys me about this particular trope that I can't put it into words. When will speculative fiction game writers, novelists etc. be able to write convincing female characters? Oh, wait, Le Guin, Wolfe, Martin and a whole load of others have been able to. So why can't you?
4. They are characters, and this is a fantasy setting, and yet it seems like a thinly veiled mouthpiece for broadcasting the stale and trite political views of the author/designer/player. China Mieville and the people who made Blue Rose are shining examples. Also, see staunch atheist players who always create characters who turn out to be..... atheists! Wiccan players who always create characters who turn out to be..... against the established religious order! And so on.
5. They are an analog of white Europe during the Crusading era/Age of Sail, and they are evil and domineering and oppressive. Because the idea that white Europeans did some bad stuff in the past is, like, so controversial and edgy, isn't it?
Tch. And bah.