Fantasy Clichés
Swords, witchcraft, sorcery, magic.

Clichés Liberated from Magitech
The following clichés were liberated from TSR's Magitech (a modern magical world) which was part of the Amazing Engine system.
  • Actor - a person who performs dramas or comedies for an audience
  • Adventurer - a professional treasure hunter.
  • Artist - engages in some sort of creative endeavor (painting, sculpture, etc.)
  • Athlete - competitor in organized sports or athletic competitions.
  • Dilettante - idle-rich.
  • Dispeller - someone who finds, analyzes, and dispells magic for a living.
  • Doctor - someone who practices medicine and has taken an oath to help others who are ill or injured.
  • Domestic - someone who performs household chores.
  • Engineer - someone who applies scientific principles for practical purposes.
  • Hunter - someone who hunts food for a living.
  • Jack-of-all-trades - a specialist in nothing.
  • Mercenary - warrior for hire.
  • Minister - representative of an organized religion.
  • Musician - engages in the art of music.
  • Police Officer - civillian law enforcement.
  • Private Detective - morks to solve crimes, but on a for hire basis.
  • Programmer - uses a computer for a living.
  • Repair Engineer - concerned with fixing things, not building them (like the engineer).
  • Scholar - someone who has specialized in a field of academic endeavor (archaeology, alchemy, etc.).
  • Scout - life is spent outside looking for things and surviving in the wilderness.
  • Thief - steals stuff owned by others.
  • Wizard - a professional spell caster and troubleshooter.
  • Writer - journalist/novelist/etc.
RisusTalk submitted clichés
(brace yourself, there's quite a few here)
  • Alchemist - Transmuting metals, inventing strange drugs, blowing up laboratory equipment.
  • Wise Woman - Blessing crops, curing livestock, brewing love potions.
  • Fugitive from Justice - Spit in the face of authority, scoff at the law, rob wayfarers and passersby, live in unpleasant places, disguise yourself as harmless local, travel lightly, watch your back, brag about the bounty on your head
  • Bare-Knuckled Street Fighter - Fight without weapons or armor, float like butterfly/sting like bee, get in lots of duels, register fists as deadly weapons
  • Rum-swilling Freebooter - Sail the seas, attack ships, ransom wealthy prisoners, climb the rigging, say things like “Sink me fer a lubber!” and “Shiver me timbers!”, have an eyepatch or a peg leg or a hook
  • Eagle-eyed Archer - Hit a fly’s eye at 100 yards, be rock-steady, be extremely protective of your equipment
  • Weaponmaster - Single-minded devotion to mastering one type of weapon, not being able to master other types of weapons, being able to do cool things with the type of weapon that you can master
  • Avaricious Mercenary - Getting paid for fighting, getting tricked out of being paid by evil lord who hired you, looking to be hired by a non-evil lord, gambling and drinking and wenching your pay away
  • Grizzled Veteran - Perform duty, esprit de corps, take orders from your superiors, give orders to your subordinates, know the regulations, complain about the food, stand watch, complain about “the brass”, maintain discipline on the battlefield, gamble and drink and wench off duty
  • Belligerant Mook - Know every filthy street and alley on your turf, prey on the helpless, be loud and obnoxious, use violence as a negotiation tactic
  • Defender of the Faith Smiting evil, ride big horse, being holy, being chivalrous, rebuffing undead creatures
  • Arrogant Samurai - Follow code of bushido*, use neat weapons, know some artsy skills, shout “kiai!” and fight impressively*Obey your lord absolutely, be ready to die for your honor or your lord, avenge dishonor to your honor/lord/family, repay all debts honorably, don’t display cowardice at any time
  • Beast-Wizard - Speaking with animals, summoning animals, turning into animals.
  • Cattle Raider - Sneak past patrols, quiet cattle, liberate herd, know lots of rope tricks
  • Professional Thief - Steal valuables, purloin treasure, filch a fortune, pilfer swag, cut purses, burgle shops, loot coffers, ransack vaults, slink warily, shadow victims, strike from behind, fence booty, bypass booby traps, scale obstacles
  • Professional Assassin - Kill people for money, sneak around secret passages, wear cheesy disguises, use interesting poisons, obey the Assassin’s Code**1) Get the gold up front; 2) No freebies; 3) It doesn’t matter how they die, as long as you’re paid for it; 4) He who stalks and runs away, lives to slay another day.
  • Resourceful Beggar - Grovel convincingly, show crippling injury, flatter gullible passersby, spin tale of woe, collect juicy gossip, rummage through garbage heaps, eat stuff that would gag an orc, sleep in alleys and on doorsteps
  • Spy - Sneak around, decode secret messages, eavesdrop, stay out of the way, disguise, know foreign languages, get back with information
  • Amorous Scoundrel - Go without sleep, run from enraged spouse, leap out window, caress passionately, endear with a look, virility under duress, be attractive and charming
  • Dungeon-Delving Magic-User - Tramp through dungeons and hostile wildernesses, be a magical jack-of-all-trades, cast spells with polysyllabic names and strange ingredients, have trouble casting esoteric and specialized spells
  • Inquisitive Alchemist - Brew useful but noxious potions, analyze somebody els’s noxious potions, write recipes in a complex code, seek the philosopher's stone, find out how to turn lead into gold, blow up lab on a regular basis
  • Village Crone - Cackle menacingly, prepare corpse, tell how much better things used to be, hide valuables away, know alarming secrets
  • Sinister Necromancer - Summon spirits of the dead, reanimate corpse, command the undead, look good in black, be spooky, hang around in graveyards and ancient battlefields, exorcise ghosts, make flesh rot, make things die
  • Cybermage - Controlling computers, surfing the Net without a deck.
  • Hedge Wizard - Find lost possessions, craft protective amulets, scare away vermin and unwelcome visitors, create sleeping potion, cure minor ills, use natural properties of plants and animals
  • Devious Sorcerer - Make trouble, afflict with boils, ,poison wells, afflict cattle, cause plague, pretend not to be a sorcerer
  • Medium - Hold seance, enter trance, contact spirit guide, contact the dead, speak in spooky voices, interpret knocks on the walls by spirits of the dear departed, speak in spooky voices
  • Abjurer - Cast spells which ward, discourage, dispel, eliminate, and hinder people, places, and things. Prevent and remove curses, protect against injury or misfortune, exorcise possessing demons, banish extraplanar creatures.
  • Transmuter - Turn things into other things, make things bigger/ smaller /heavier/ lighter/ etc., unlock doors (and vice versa), change sex, change stone into mud, change lead into gold
  • Conjuror/Summoner - Bring forth living and non-living things, dispel conjured things, make circle of protection against the creatures you’ve conjured, know secret names of creatures, contact entities from other realms of existence.
  • Spellbinder - Change opinions, control minds, alter emotions, hypnotize, endow items or creatures with magical powers,
  • Enchanter - Make magical things, spend lots of time in the shop, know an appropriate crafting skill, stay at home a lot, get sought out by people on quests
  • Diviner - Cast horoscope, examine livers, read palms, interpret omens, gaze into crystal ball, examine head-bumps, read cards, read tea leaves, dowse for water, use ouija board, look in magic scrying pool, read runes, bibliomancy, interpret dreams, cast lots, psychometry
  • Illusionist - Create noises, make people think there’s a monster attacking them, make things look like they’re other things, make people think they’ve been attacked by something real, keep people from seeing things that are actually there
  • Diviner/Clairvoyant - Reading Tarot cards, seeking missing persons, scrying out enemies' plans, sensing the great destinies of newborn princes.
  • Invoker - Call upon supernatural entities for aid, shape magical forces, cast lightning bolts and fireballs, snare enemies in sticky webs, create walls of fog and mist, summon cloud of poisonous gas,
  • Warlock - Know how to use weapons and magic together, carry troops over walls, spy on enemy plans, undermine enemy defenses, detect enemy ambushes, hinder enemy’s attacks (Yeah, I know I’m using “warlock” in the wrong sense, but I like it this way)
  • Demonologist - Summon demons, compel or negotiate with demons, get rid of demons, smell faintly of brimstone
  • Adventuresome Cleric - Use no edged weapons, advance the interests of your god, turn undead, read omens, beseech the gods to intercede, deliver sermons, mouth platitudes
  • Village Priest - Bless crops and cattle, perform marriages, bless newborns, perform funerals, serve the gods
  • Druid Sacrifice prisoners (only when absolutely necessary), predict weather, answer questions with riddles, invoke the powers of nature, perform bizarre rituals
  • Bloodthirsty Crone - Appease the Earth, assure fertility, inflict curse on the wicked, lift curse from community, conduct human sacrifice (only when necessary), stop plague
  • Mystic - Seek enlightenment, meditate upon obscure philosophical dilemmas, avoid unnecessary confrontations (but not the necessary ones), use obscure quotations from dead philosophers and strange folk wisdom, feign death, leave body, levitate self, don’t own more than you can carry
  • Houngan - Make voodoo dolls, dance ecstatically, be possessed by loa, witch people to death
  • Nimble Acrobat - Juggle, walk tightrope, amuse audiences, wear funny clothes, be nimble, be sure-footed
  • Fire-Mage - Igniting torches, throwing fireballs, summoning fire elementals.
  • Amazon - Stand up for yourself to any patronizing male, show women how to fend for themselves, show those bully-boys who’s better
  • Animal Master - Talk to animals as if they understand you, listen to animals as if you can understand them, have a li’l animal buddy, spend a lot of time living with the animals, learn wisdom of the animals
  • Diplomat - Carry important messages, be an emissary, pal around with foreign courtiers, indulge in intrigue, keep your eyes and ears open, know what to kiss and when, know about what’s in vogue
  • Explorer - Get antsy when you’re home too long, go somewhere nobody else has ever heard of, meet people you can’t talk to, stumble on lost civilizations, collect exotic memorabilia, tell stories about how you got that scar, learn scandalous phrases in foreign languages
  • Wacky Jester - Wear bright colors and bells, talk in a high funny voice, make witty observations about people at the court who hopefully won’t get mad and have you killed, embarrass that guy you don’t like, make everybody realize just how witty you really are, take a pratfall, juggle as if your life depended on it, caper and prance
  • Mariner - Live on a ship, never get seasick, say things like “arr, matey” and “landlubber”, wear little or no armor, batten down the hatches, swab the deck, climb the rigging, man the fo’c’sl, get tattoos, wear a ring in your ear, have a girl in every port, use cutlasses and belaying pins, dance a hornpipe
  • Merchant - Buy cheap and sell dear, haggle haggle haggle!, know what things cost, keep an eye on your stuff, organize caravan, carry heavy stuff, pick up the local gossip
  • Aristocrat - Live lavishly, be superior, command respect, have a lot of influence, keep the peasants in their place, demand the best things in life, go hunting and riding, wear fancy clothing
  • Peasant Hero Done Good  - nostalgic about your grubby little home, long for the days you were slopping the hogs and milking the cows, “back there people take care of each other”, spout folksy wisdom, be a hometown hero
  • Beast Rider - Be inseparable from mount, know each other’s location and general health, know what each other want, fight while mounted, have special mount.
  • Gate-Mage - Teleporting people and things, opening portals through time and space.
  • Primitive - Be primitive, hunt and forage, wear skins and paint, know about animals and plants and spirits, sleep lightly, be perplexed by foreign ways
  • Savage - Live in dangerous or unusual environment, be exotic and unusual, remark frequently on how they do things back in your tribe, be completely comfortable in climates like the one you used to live in (swamps, snow, desert, jungle, whatever)
  • Scholar - Know lots of obscure lore, write down everything, be an expert on something, act as if you know something about everything else, criticize rivals, write flattering letters to patrons
  • Scout - Live in the wild, hunt game, trap small animals, know the lay of the land, watch enemy troop movements, size up danger, be self-reliant, be uncomfortable out of your element
  • Smuggler - Fence illicit goods, feign innocence, have connections, appraise goods, obtain forged documents, conceal identity, have an escape plan
  • Spy - Cross enemy lines, infiltrate enemy territory, collect vital information, attend swanky parties, sit in smoky taverns, collect latest rumors and gossip, use cover identities, plan escape route
  • Swashbuckler - Be witty, fight with panache, swing from chandeliers, vault over railings, dive through windows, hide from outraged spouses, know the derring-dos from the derring-don’ts, revel raucously, hobnob with the hoi polloi, defend the honor of yourself/your comrades/anyone you find attractive
  • Smith - Make things out of metal, ignore burns, impressive muscles, evaluate metalwork, snarl at lazy apprentice
  • Farmer - Grow food, raise livestock, kill varmints, gripe about taxes, talk about weather
  • Fisherman - Fish, build boat, repair nets, make traps, know the local waters, brag about the one that got away
  • Healer - Healing wounds, neutralizing poisons, maybe resurrecting the dead....
  • Herder - Care for herd, train dog, butcher herd animals, run long distance, listen to endless stream of off-color jokes about herders and their beasts
  • Brewer - Brew ale or mead, keep bees, work with a hangover
  • Woodcrafter - Find decent wood, make items out of wood
  • Craftsperson - Craft, make minor Equipment, Find Necessary Supplies, Haggle; Inspired, Patient
  • Ruler - Look imposing, bluster, debate, compromise, rally followers, keep followers happy, find weakness in argument, negotiate
  • Wise Mentor - Advise ruler, cite precedent, talk for hours, speak with authority, debate minutiae, know hiatory and laws
  • Healer - Bind wounds, split broken bones, know herbal lore, treat illness
  • Midwife - Know signs of pregnancy, tend mother-to-be, spread old wive's tales, terminate pregnancy
  • Shipwright - Build Ship, Patch Leaks, Make Sails, Boil Pitch, Career Ship
  • Berserker - Ignore Wounds, Look Really Scary, Fight To The Death, Intimidate, Immune to Fire
  • Illusionist - Causing hallucinations, making things invisible, disguising people.
  • Innkeeper - Keep a tidy inn, throw out ruffians, provide food and drink, keep valuables safe
  • Entertainer - Juggle things, sing funny songs, tell lame jokes, do funny voices, imitate local celebrities
  • Natural Philosopher - Be curious, know lots of obscure facts, carry around bundles of esoteric equipment, collect thousands ofspecimens, know when eclipses are going to happen
  • Pacifist - Resist passively, don’t fight (even to defend yourself or others), tell others not to fight, resolve conflicts peaceably, don’t carry a weapon, get beaten up a lot, get killed (usually only once)
  • Shapeshifter - Change your shape, basically
  • Wood Elves - Live forever, wear earth tones, caper and frolic, shoot intruders, protect the forest, arrange flowers, sneak around the woods, harass dwarves, hate orcs, be vulnerable to iron
  • High Elves - Look ethereal, be wise, brew delicate herbal teas, lament for the days of yore, be understood even if the other guy doesn’t understand Elvish, weave armor out of silk, be vulnerable to iron
  • Dark Elves - Be evil, like sorcery, like spiders, hate daylight, dress in dark colors, be vulnerable to iron
  • Half-Elves - Less frolicsome than elves, more pointy-eared than humans, never really get along with either one, don’t be vulnerable to iron
  • Half-Orcs - Be smarter than most orcs, be more apt to bite off a hunk of somebody than a human
  • Meta-Mage - Spells that affect other spells: see "Universal Mage Abilities" below.
  • Lizard Men - Dwell in swamp, dream of the days when your ancestors ate humans for lunch
  • Half-Giant - Have trouble finding a bed that's long enough, bang your head on doorjambs, crash through dilapidated floors, smash doors, crush puny humans
  • Orc - Be strong, be brutish, be ugly, sharpen your fangs at dinner, eat anything remotely edible, break things, fight on any pretext, win by cheating, bully those weaker than you
  • Gnoll - Be lazy, be vicious, be ill-tempered, be self-centered, be greedy, lay ambushes, track prey by scent, have a fondness for carrion
  • Nymph - Be beautiful, live in river or forest or mountain or ocean, be friends with all the animals that live with you, seduce young handsome mortals, never get old or ugly
  • Manscorpion - Sting people, claw people, discuss hiw people want to be stung and clawed
  • Crawling Claws - Be a disembodied hand, crawl around, stick your fingers in their eyes and noses and ears
  • Swan Maiden - Change into swan when wearing the Swan Coat, take Swan Coat off and leave it unguarded when you bathe, marry the man who steals the Swan Coat, leave him and take (or murder) your children when you get the Swan Coat back
  • Fairy - Be tiny and winged, change people into other things, cast mischievous spells, become invisible, frolic in wooden glades and meadows, drink nectar from little flowery cups, love dance and music
  • Kobold - Be small, hang around in mines, make knocking noises, lead miners astray, move tools when they’re not looking, fill in diggings overnight
  • Necromancer - Summoning ghosts, raising zombies, draining life force.
  • Goblin - Live in or near human households, be small, be ugly, be mischievous, become invisible, play malicious pranks, pinch naughty children, be obsessively neat
  • Merman/maid - live underwater, make pets of fish, fall in love with land-dwellers, never use fire, know where all the cool wrecked ships are
  • Mountain Dwarf - Be short and stocky, fight fiercely when provoked, live in palatial caverns, never get lost underground, have a fondness for mining and intricate devices, dislike orcs, detest elves
  • Hill Dwarf - Carry large axes, abhor orcs, make fun of elves, wear lederhosen, build quality cuckoo clocks, drink foaming tankards of ale, yodel
  • Halfling - Walk upright under tables, look eagerly forward to your fifth meal of the day, avoid 'bigguns', seem innocent, pilfer casually,
  • Battle-Mage - Hurling blazing bolts of power, deflecting arrows.
  • Summoner/Demonologist - Calling up Things From Hell, controlling same.
  • Telekinetic - Picking locks, throwing things and strangling people by remote control, rigging slot machines.
  • Bloodmagus - Jump inside people and make them explode, cast blood-based spells, suck people's blood.
  • Telepath/Mind-Mage - Enslaving the weak-willed, erasing memories, communicating by thought alone.
  • Ecomancer - Connect with the ethereal forces that bind the world together, make things glowy, cause plants to grow
  • Druid Predicting weather, healing plants and animals.
  • Itinerant Bardic Conjuror - Juggling fire, creating flashy illusions, dramatic special effects and minor entertaining conjurations.
  • Jedi Knight - Clouding stormtroopers' minds, sensing friends' danger, telekinetically grabbing lightsabers out of the snow.
  • Priest-Wizard - Turning undead, healing wounds, removing curses. [Hey, kids! Combine this with a Knight Cliche to make your very own D&D-style Paladin!
  • Alchemist - Puttering, making potions, smelling bad, blowing up laboratories.
  • American Cowboy - Ridin', ropin', brandin', spittin', and shootin'.
  • Anarchist - Conspiring, writing pamphlets, running up large cafe tabs.
  • Bimbo - Available in both genders. Distracting, teasing, not teasing....
  • Scheming Village Witch - Brewing malicious potions, causing livestock to be born with two heads.
  • Con Artist - Convincing other people to give you money, evading cops.
  • Dock Worker - Beating things up, drinking, whoring, grunting, sweating.
  • Gadgeteer - Building a radio transceiver out of a bent fork and some gum.
  • Gambler - Betting, cheating, winning, running very fast.
  • Gangster - Shooting, speaking with an accent, intimidation.
  • Geezer - Wheezin', cursin', bitter reminiscin', failin' to understand kids.
  • Kid - Being a sidekick to heroes, stowing away, distracting bad guys.
  • Latin Lover - Seducing, loving, running from irate husband.
  • Mad Scientist - Raving, world-domination, trying to play god, cackling.
  • Martial Artist - Fancy hand-to-hand combat, stilted speech.
  • Shaman - Speaking with spirits, traveling in the dreamlands, astrally projecting.
  • Magician - Palming things, sawing ladies in half, public speaking.
  • Motorcyclist - Motorbike riding, brawling, being Invisible to other motorists.
  • Novelist - Drinking, brawling, cut-rate world traveling, introspection.
  • Olympic Athlete - Running, swimming, jumping, skiing, javelin-tossing.
  • Outdoorsman - Following tracks, building shelters, finding wild food.
  • Photographer - Visualizing three-dimensional spaces, surprising celebrities, running away from bodyguards.
  • Policeman - Eating donuts, writing tickets, shooting civilians.
  • Poltergeist - Being dead, throwing things, scaring people.
  • Sailor - Cursing, brawling, drinking, whoring, tying knots.
  • Shaman - Dreamwalking, communing with spirits, brewing beer.
  • Urbane Villainous Court Wizard Who Whispers in the King's Ear - Hypnotizing people, casting entertaining illusions, keeping the weak-willed king pliable. Thanks to S. John for this one.
  • Sorcerer - Spellcasting, demon-summoning, speaking in gibberish.
  • Soldier - Shooting, hiding, partying, catching venereal diseases.
  • Special Forces - Following orders, looking stern, following orders.
  • Swashbuckler - Stabbing things, swinging from ropes, sailing, romance.
  • Thief - Sneakin' around gaining access and objects they shouldn't have.
  • Vampire - Charming people, sucking blood, turning into mist or bats.
  • Adventuresome Warrior - Slay monsters, hew limbs, bash heads, clean gore off your weapons and armor
  • Arrow-Shooting Woodsman - Tramp stealthily through the wild, fight monsters, know nature lore, do trick arrow stunts, wear camouflage
  • Outlandish Barbarian - Glower menacingly at soft city dwellers, complain about the filthy streets, praise the virtues of living in a crude lean-to in your faraway homeland, forget to shower except when it rains ,heft a mean battleaxe, perform amazing feats of martial prowess, have a wyrd or geas, leave a trail of destruction at a moment’s notice, drink kegs of ale, punch out rude oxen
  • Popular Gladiator - Salute the emperor because you’re about to die, fight with odd weapons and too little armor, please the crowd, flex muscles impressively, “it’s just a scratch”, kill opponents entertainingly, learn clever ways to “die” convincingly
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