I live to poke at tropes. I love to start a story with seemingly cliched, tropified characters who you think you’ve seen a million times. I then like to poke at them until they twist and break every genre convention with flaming characterization while I cackle maniacally. Maniacally really is the only way to cackle. On that note, some thoughts:
1. Benevolent Necromancers
Maybe raising that army of the mostly dead was actually for the best. Also, just a thought here… Can we not associate black with evil and death? Just once? I love color imagery perhaps even more than the next person, but let’s shake it up.
2. Malevolent Healers
Can we take healing and make it villainous without it being necromancy? I say yes. This is practically torture just waiting to happen— Prometheus’s punishment. Heal. Hurt. Repeat. Let’s just try not to resort to something that is basically Blood Bending.
3. Nuclear Technician Fairies
Basically, get them out of the forest. Also I want them to actually be tiny instead of human-sized fey masquerading as fairies. Some cyberpunk fairies would also be amazing. Tiny fairies living in your motherboard wrecking havoc. That could explain my last computer crash.
4. Mercenary Seers
No waifish child seers here. You can see the future and you are embracing the creepy child motif? Really? No. How about a coalition of seer assassins swilling the water of sight between jobs? A new novel idea is stewing in those waters…
5. Less Than Graceful Elves
Fall off your horse, Legolas.
6. Intelligent Orcs
Ugly is evil. Ugly is unintelligent. Ugly is villainy manifest. Yes. That is exactly what we need to be saying. Perfect. If you must have them war-faring, then who exactly is planning their battles if they cannot even string coherent sentences together? I want an orc who is a chessmaster.
7. Screw-up Sorcerers
I want things to go wrong. I want that spell to blow up in her face. I want a spell to backfire in an unexplainable way. I want her to learn from her mistakes. Now, I don’t mean I just want to see a young sorcerer in training. I want to see a supposed master failing and flailing for an answer. It happens. I know far too many PhDs to think otherwise.
8. Sunshine Loving Dark Elves
Maybe with a fluffy pet kitten.
9. Actually Incompetent Novice Heroes
I know we want to see a hero being all heroic all the time. I know we want to see the best archer in all the land the moment she picks up a bow. But why? Why does everyone need to be so inherently good at everything? The first time I shot a bow I spectacularly missed the target. And, as a great shocker, I wasn’t spectacular on the second shot either. (That particular endeavor didn’t last long for the safety of everyone involved.) According to everything I’ve learned, I apparently can’t be the protagonist of my own life. I missed out on the overly talented gene that is passed around to main characters. This can only mean one thing: NPC for life.
10. Non-Spoony Bards
Need I say more?