Standard Fantasy Setting

From 1d4chan

You know the one. The "default" fantasy setting, as codified by ripping off J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Dungeons and Dragons, with a few going for the Warhammer Fantasy cum Central European fantasy angle.

Typically features the generic fantasy map. You know, the one with oceans on the left, land on the right, some long mountain ranges splitting good from evil.
The capital of the (anime) Standard Fantasy Setting: Seoul, South Korea.
Another typical example (click for more detail)

The "distinguishing" features of the standard fantasy setting include:

  • Elf/ves, Dwarf/ves, Humans, Orcs or their trademarkable equivalents. Halflings and other races are optional, depending on the decade it was made.
  • Dragons, usually intelligent.
  • Undead, usually evil.
  • Medieval Stasis, with heavily schizophrenic technology levels the further from the center of the map you get.
  • Enough magic that Wizard is a viable career path.
  • Some kind of Evil Overlord, although he does not have to feature in the story or campaign.
  • Fantasy versions of real world cultures. Typical are Arabia, The Middle Kingdom, and some variant on Native Americans.
  • Either a "Dung Ages" or "Excessively Romanticized" approach to what the world looks like, sometimes both depending on its level of humor/seriousness.
  • Gods, generally active enough that there is no doubt of their existence.

Common variations of the Standard Fantasy Setting include:

Some variations will eschew the Tolkien races in favor of pulpier or slightly more obscure races/visual themes, like nymphs and Frazetta Men.

This has become more rare in literature; the likes of Dennis L. McKiernan and Terry Brooks have mined it to exhaustion, while others like Terry Pratchett and G.R.R. Martin have satirized, parodied, or deconstructed what was left. Fantasy Heartbreakers have similarly exhausted the tabletop RPG side. Isekai still has plenty of 'em, but most Isekai are garbage.

Since most people are familiar with the Standard Fantasy Setting, it remains popular in Anime, Vidya, and board games.