Standard Fantasy Setting
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:
- Gothic: Adds angels and demons, black-white ethical framework, and Gothic architecture
- Swords & Sandals: Very Bronze Age-esque.
- IN SPAAAACE: Science Fantasy, but we're in space.
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.