[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Blue_rose_cover_2706.jpg]]

''Blue Rose'' is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game published by Creator/GreenRonin in 2004. Its innovative mechanics, based on a revised version of the TabletopGame/D20System, formed the basis of Green Ronin's generic True20 system.

In March 2015, Green Ronin announced plans to revive the setting with rules based on the AGE system, which was originally developed for the ''TabletopGame/DragonAge'' RPG. In June 2015, they ran [[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/504269797/blue-rose-the-age-roleplaying-game-of-romantic-fan/description a Kickstarter for the new edition]].

''Blue Rose'' aims to emulate the genre of fiction the game's writers describe as "romantic fantasy" -- that is, FeministFantasy of the sort published by authors like Creator/MercedesLackey, Creator/TamoraPierce and Creator/DianeDuane. The setting is the world of Aldea, which superficially resembles a MedievalEuropeanFantasy setting but is actually [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]], the world having been devastated by wars between rival [[SorcerousOverlord Sorcerer Kings]] a few centuries back. Player characters are usually agents of [[BigGood Queen Jaellin]] of TheGoodKingdom of Aldis, defending queen and country against threats both internal and external.

Prominent features of the setting are deliberate outreach to women and LGBT players through their incorporation into the setting's lore, an emphasis on interpersonal relationships and social conflict instead of strict hack-and-slash combat, and the ability to play as a [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot Psychic Wizard Badger with a human Familiar.]]

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!!This game provides examples of:

* AfterTheEnd: Aldea only ''looks'' like a medieval fantasy world; it's actually very much post-apocalyptic. Aldis has spent three centuries rebuilding itself into a nation worth living in after the dystopia and tyranny of the past was overcome, but there is ''still'' work to be done. Which is where you come in...
* ApocalypseHow: Aldea fell victim to a Class 1 through Magical Civil War. The Sorcerer Kings helped Usurp the Old Kingdom, then divided it up and made war on each other to take the dead Empress' place. When they started running out of living warriors, they resorted to summoning undead and demonic soldiers. And when that didn't do the trick, more than one FantasticNuke was employed (see: the Veran Marsh). And when the remaining living people had had enough, the Great Rebellion added even more corpses to the world until all but [[BigBad one]] of the Kings was destroyed. Then the victorious rebels got to work building a better world rather than descending into a Medieval ''Film/MadMax'' society.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Generally averted in Aldis -- because despite government officials being ''called'' nobles, it's actually a meritocracy, not a hereditary aristocracy.
** Played straight in that, while nobles are able to pass the tests of the kingdom by holding the Scepter of the Blue Rose (a magical detect evil/corruption artifact), they can and do fall into corruption AFTER passing the test. There are also occasional aristocratic land owners, but they have no say in the lives of people who may be living on their lands.
* BalefulPolymorph: A common form of BlackMagic, known as Flesh Shaping. VoluntaryShapeshifting exists but is much more difficult.
* BigBad: [[EvilSorceror Jarek]], the [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]] [[EvilOverlord King]] of [[{{Mordor}} Kern]]. His Seven Lieutenants take over this role in Second Edition.
* BigGood: [[TheHighQueen Queen Jaellin]] of [[TheGoodKingdom Aldis]].
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The setting explicitly defines what is right and wrong, but...
** WhiteAndGreyMorality: Aside from the Lich King and his agents, most antagonists are actually [[AntiVillain Anti-Villains]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well-Intentioned Extremists]] and similar misguided types.
* BlackKnight: Kern's elite, the Knights of the Skull. If your party encounters one, always remember that [[DontAskJustRun discretion is the better part of valour.]]
* BlackMagic: Most forms of RitualMagic, as well as ordinary [[FunctionalMagic Inherent Gift]] magic if it's used in certain unethical ways. The in-universe term for Black Magic is "sorcery."
* BondCreatures: Any rhydan -- intelligent, telepathic animals -- can form this kind of psychic bond with a compatible human. (It's not explained why this happens, or why it's only with humans.) As the rhydan species are playable races, you can also play a rhydan PC who has a ''[[InvertedTrope human]]'' Bond Creature.
* ABoyAndHisX: Any rhy-bonded character.
* BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood:
** Mostly averted in Aldis, but incorrigibly violent criminals can ''volunteer'' for brainwashing as an alternative to being locked up.
** As of second edition, Jarzon follows a more Aldin approach to this. Jarzoni Confessors only rearrange people's minds with their consent, though this can mean such things as religious unorthodoxy or [[CureYourGays being gay]].
* BurnTheWitch: The fate of any magic-user who's not a priest in the Theocracy of Jarzon.
* CharacterAlignment:[[invoked]] [[LightIsGood Light]], [[DarkIsEvil Shadow]], or Twilight.
* CharmPerson: Heart Shaping. Using this skill to forcibly change someone's mind will often require a Corruption Test.
* TheChosenOne: At the moment of the monarch of Aldis' death, the Golden Hart begins searching for a new one, marking their foreheads with a silver crescent when they are found and escorting them to the palace to be crowned.
* ComingOutStory: The sample adventure contained in the core rulebook involves helping a confused young gay teenager from a rural community sort out his feelings (and his [[PowerIncontinence uncontrolled magic]]).
* CoolHorse: Rhy-horses are capable of running at high speeds, bantering with the party through their psychic connection, casting fireballs, and giving lethal kicks in battle.
* CorruptChurch: The Church of the Pure Light has a bit of a problem with this in the upper ranks, as the high priests are often chosen more for political ability and connections than for their ethics. The lower ranks of the church are mostly [[GoodShepherd Good Shepherds]], however. Simply put, the farther from the capital you get, the less corrupt the Church becomes.
* TheCorruption: An actual game mechanic -- embracing Corruption gets you phenomenally increased magical abilities, at the low, low cost of turning you evil.
* CrystalDragonJesus: The Church of Pure Light basically combines the worst features of the medieval Catholic Church, Protestant Puritanism, and just a hint of fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam and theocratic Tibetan Buddhism.
* CrystalSpiresAndTogas: The Old Kingdom was a highly advanced {{Magitek}} civilization of this sort, although it didn't stay so utopian.
* CureYourGays: As of Second Edition, the Theocracy of Jarzon is running "emendating camps" in an attempt to "save" young [[{{Transgender}} laevvel]] from their non-gender-conforming ways.
* DanceBattler: The Spirit-Dancer specialization wears this as its hat, with a fluff that combines Eastern Monks with Jedi Knights.
* TheDarkArts: Sorcery in Aldis; all forms of magic unless practiced by a licensed priest of the [[CorruptChurch Church of Pure Light]] in Jarzon. The restrictions on sorcery have been relaxed in Aldis under Queen Jaellin. (Specifically, you still can't ''practice'' sorcery, but it's no longer illegal to study the theories ''behind'' sorcery.) The ramifications of this policy decision have yet to be shown.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Vata'sha and Night People are dark-skinned people who are direct results of Sorcerer King experiments, but they're no more or less evil than humans. (Most shadowspawn, however, really are naturally evil.)
* TheDarkSide: Sorcery (that is, evil magic) works like this. Either using arcana that are inherently evil or using ''any'' arcana for an evil purpose causes the user to suffer physical and spiritual [[TheCorruption corruption]].
* DefectorFromDecadence: Aldis gets a lot of defectors from [[KnightTemplar Jarzon]] and [[{{Mordor}} Kern]]. More and more men are fleeing to Aldis from the Matriarchy as well.
* DetectEvil: The nobles who govern Aldis all have to pass the test of the Blue Rose Scepter, an artifact designed to screen out anyone [[OnlyThePureOfHeart except the pure of heart]].
* DontFearTheReaper: The Twilight goddess of winter, Selene, also happens to be the goddess of death and, although not exactly friendly, she's portrayed as wise and merciful. She specifically crafted the Wheel Of Reincarnation so that even though it is possible for the creatures of Aldea to die, their souls will be reborn in a new form instead of being claimed by the Shadow.
* DoomTroops: The Kern [[BlackKnight Knights of the Skull]], who go into battle wearing black armour and skull-shaped silver helmets. If you manage to defeat one in combat, [[GrandTheftMe do NOT put the helmet on...]]
* DoWrongRight: Any Roamer caught stealing is going to suffer at least a lot of stern rebuke from their kin for feeding the public stereotype of Roamers being thieves... but if the theft was [[GentlemanThief dashing and artful enough,]] there will be some [[NotSoAboveItAll grudging respect]] mixed in with it.
* EasySexChange: Averted. Aldin magic and science can be and is used to alter the physical sex of people who feel that it does not correspond to their mental sex, but the process is as long and complicated as it is in the real world.
* ElementalPowers: [[DishingOutDirt Earth Shaping]], [[PlayingWithFire Fire Shaping]], [[MakingASplash Water Shaping]], [[BlowYouAway Wind Shaping]], [[AnIcePerson Cold Shaping]] or [[GreenThumb Plant Shaping]].
* TheEmpath: Heart Reading is another standard power used by Psychics in Aldis. (Heart ''[[CharmPerson Shaping]]'', on the other hand, is...widely frowned upon.)
* TheEmpire: The Utopian [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Old Kingdom]] was taken over by the [[EvilSorcerer sorceress]] [[TheEmperor Delsha Artanis]], forming the Empire of Thorns. Cut to a long period of oppression and conquest that nearly destroyed the entire world.
** [[{{Mordor}} Kern]] could be considered the last remnant of it, making it a VestigialEmpire.
* EnemyCivilWar: The state of Kern as of the Second Edition. The Lich King is gone, and his top lieutenants are feuding over who gets to replace him. If there is any indication that Aldis may attempt an invasion, they're quick to stop fighting each other and defend the border until the threat passes.
* EveryoneIsBi: This is an expectation in Aldis; monosexuals exist, and are tolerated, but it's perfectly socially acceptable to hit on someone who you know is of an IncompatibleOrientation and try to get them to [[IfItsYouItsOkay switch teams]]. Also, mechanically in Second Edition, the Flirt stunt takes no account of a character's stated sexual orientation.
* EvilChancellor:
** Lord Sayvin of Aldis, whom everyone expected to be chosen as the next king; he's not actually evil ''yet'', but he's increasingly put out about the whole thing.
** Played straight in Second Edition. [[spoiler:Sayvin lets the Lich King's forces into Aldis, then is forced to flee to Kern when his gambit for the crown fails]].
* EvilOverlord:
** Jarek, the Lich King of Kern.
** Historically, there's also all the other [[SorcerousOverlord sorcerer-kings]], especially [[TheEmperor Delsha Artanis]], whose coup d'etat ended the utopian Old Kingdom.
** [[spoiler: With Jarek's defeat in Second Edition, there are now SEVEN [[EvilOverlord Evil Overlords]] in Kern competing for his job, all undermining Aldis]].
* ExoticExtendedMarriage: The game has "star marriages", where all the participants are considered to be the spouses of all the other participants, even if they are not sexually involved with each other. They are quite common in the islands under Aldis' control, uncommon in mainland Aldis, and almost unheard of elsewhere.
* TheFairFolk: Make their debut in universe in Second Edition. They serve as a different sort of Elemental, in opposition to the Undead (so much so, their artwork in 2E is a Mirror image of the Undeads' a few pages later). They are not usually hostile to Aldins, but they can be distrustful, reclusive, and capricious.
* {{Familiar}}: Anyone with magic talent can have one. Interestingly, Rhydan can bond with a HUMAN one.
* FantasticCasteSystem: The Lar'tyan Matriarchy is centered around one of these with four castes for humans, and an unofficial fifth caste for Sea Folk. Castes are hereditary, and men and women are equal in the two lowest castes. All Lar'tyans acknowledge the supremacy of the females in the two upper castes.
* FantasticRacism: Lots of it to go around, mostly aimed at [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Night People]]. Aldins preach and speak against this, but not everyone subscribes to it.
* FantasyContraception: Exists and is widely used in Aldis according to WordOfGod.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** The Forest Kingdom of Wyss is mostly equivalent to the Native Peoples of the Amazon. Little metal to be found, isolated, usually reached via a perilous river journey.
** The Lar'tyans are about a 50/50 blend of Indian and Polynesian culture, with a Matriarchy caste system thrown in.
** The Kernish combine the bloodthirstiness of Viking Raiders with the horrid living conditions of the Spartan Helot slaves. Once you add in TheNecrocracy elements, their society is most likely to resemble the kind of LowFantasy world found in GameOfThrones or DungeonsAndDragons.
** The Pirate Isles are a copy/paste of the Republic of Pirates found in the early Bahamas.
** The Roamers are obviously the UsefulNotes/{{Romani}}. Their homeland, Faenaria, is depicted resembling an Indian-Subcontinent state where the Romani people are believed to have originated from.
** Rezeans are Mongols with a side of Plains Native Americans.
** The Trebutane couldn't be more Jewish if they spoke Yiddish: they are currently exiled from their homelands, forced to live in communities within other nations which aren't always trusted. They worship only a single god in a world where polytheism is standard, and their society is dominated by rule-obsessed scholar-priests whose main job is analyzing and interpreting the laws which govern every aspect of Trebutane lives, including an arcane system of dietary restrictions. They are known for integrity and somberness, though noted for being more laid back among their own. Their men dress all in black with wide brimmed hats and long beards, and they have a tradition of being craftsmen, scientists and merchants.
* FantasyGunControl:
** No actual guns, but there are crystons, which are basically a {{Magitek}} equivalent of flintlock pistols. The one big difference is that they only affect living tissue, and can only ever bring someone to unconsciousness, not kill. Cryston warfare, as a result, is far less bloody and deadly than one based on firearms.
** Slightly subverted in Kern. The BigBad has ringed his nation with cryston cannons. While they operate on the same principle, the shots from these weapons strike with enough blunt force to kill anyone caught in their blast range. Unfortunately for Jarek, they haven't found a way to safely transport the weapons across the Ice-Binder Mountains AND find enough Shas-crystals in Aldis to use as ammunition- meaning no one can invade Kern, but Aldins won't see the weapons used against them on a battlefield.
* FantasyPantheon: The pantheons of Blue Rose take inspiration from Eastern and Western mythology, but like to subvert our expectations of them. Each of the deities (except the Exarchs) has an opposite gender version of themselves. The Deity of the Hearth and Family, usually seen as female in the real world, is male in this universe. The Patron of soldiers, likewise, is female.
* FeministFantasy: Blue Rose takes almost all of its inspiration from this trope. Strong female leaders, egalitarianism, an equal emphasis placed on relationships between characters as well as nitty-gritty fighting, where men are equally as likely to need saving from the evil overlord as women, and "traditional" gender roles are non-existent in the lore.
* FighterMageThief: The system divides characters into Warriors, Adepts, and Experts (although cross-classing is easy and encouraged).
* FishPeople: Or maybe more OurMermaidsAreDifferent, since the Sea Folk are much less repulsive than your average Fish Person. They've got legs, but they have webbed hands and feet, blue-green skin and hair, and can drink saltwater and hold their breath for an hour or more. They can also live on land (though they need more water than humans, so they're usually found on the coasts) and interbreed with humans. They're a playable race.
* {{Foil}}: The Jarzoni priesthood is something of a [[ShadowArchetype Twilight Archetype]] of the Aldin nobility. Both are meritocratic institutions based on the original nobility of the Old Kingdom, and have similar duties and operating procedures. However, while the Aldin nobility are a secular organization that are ''actually'' vetted by the Light, the Jarzoni use religious trappings to maintain their legitimacy and are not necessarily good people (though most still are). Both groups are aware of psychic ethics as defined by the Light, but the Jarzoni priesthood uses social engineering to ensure that most of a Confessor's targets will "freely consent."
* FortuneTeller: The Roamers specialize in this, using the Tarot-like deck of the Royal Road to interpret someone's futures.
* TheFourGods: There's four original creators, the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Primordials]]. They don't exactly correspond to the Chinese Four Gods but they're similar in some respects, for instance each being associated with one of the seasons.
* FunctionalMagic: Mostly of the Inherent Gift type; ritual-based Rule Magic exists but is usually (though not always) evil.
* GayAesop: The sourcebooks make it quite clear that Aldis' acceptance of love between any two (or more) consenting adults is to be considered a Good Thing in the game's BlackAndWhiteMorality.
* GiantFlyer: Gryphons and wyverns are easily the size of full grown buffalo if images in the books are accurate.
* GodCouple: Two god couples actually. The summer goddess Maurenna and the family god Leonoth serve as a model for heterosexual love, marriage and faithfulness while the gods [[YaoiGuys Braniel and Hiathas]] represent same-sex couples. Anwaren, Goia, and Aulora count in as a [[{{Polyamory}} poly]] godly relationship.
* TheGoodKingdom: How does Aldis fit this trope? Let us count the ways. EternalSexualFreedom? Check. Its capital is a ShiningCity surrounded by GhibliHills? Check. Ruled by a ReasonableAuthorityFigure? Check. An army of BadassBureaucrat agents who patrol the land with the express mission of helping the common folk and defending the realm? Check.
* GreenAesop: Respect for nature is similarly a Good Thing in Aldis. An entire Kingdom has been devoted to this in Second Edition: The Kingdom of Wyss. Its people grow their homes from trees and live in such harmony with nature, even the Aldins [[UpToEleven find it a little weird.]]
* HandicappedBadass: Aldis has an entire order, the Silent Knights, made up of warriors and adventurers who are blind or deaf.
* HappyFunBall: There are random gewgaws from the Old Kingdom scattered around Aldis, just waiting to be snatched up by a curious city child or innocent farm girl. Some of them are in fact items of arcane power. Occasionally they'll be perfectly safe, even extremely helpful. [[ArtifactOfDoom Other times...]]
* HasTwoMommies: Entirely unremarkable in Aldis. ''Caria'' couples are able to adopt children relatively easily if they are found to be suitable parents by the Sovereign's Finest.
* HealingHands: A common power.
* HellHound: Or, "Shadow Mastiffs."
* TheHighQueen: Jaellin. While she started out bookish and shy, has grown to such a leader that she thwarted betrayal, invasion, and spearheaded the attack that killed the Lich King. People may be grumbling about her government policy now, but no one can question her capability or kindness.
* HotGod: Hiathas, the god of hope and, unsurprisingly, ''beauty'', is said to be the most beautiful being in the world.
* ImmigrantPatriotism: Aldis has perpetually open borders with all of its neighbors, welcoming anyone who can cross into their borders (mostly out of altruism, but also because Aldis is post-apocalyptic and has more than one GhostCity that needs inhabitants). Whether an adventurer encounters a Caravan of Roamers, Jarzoni religious dissidents, former Kernish slaves, or men fleeing from the Matriarchy of Lar'trya, they all tend to love their new homeland.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness:
** Unicorns and Gryphons are explicitly listed as incorruptible- just as players will never find a good Demon, they will never find an evil Unicorn.
** The Golden Hart also qualifies- any time it decides on a new monarch for Aldis, the Hart always acts with the Kingdom's best interests in mind. It cannot be bribed, persuaded, or intimidated into making anything but its own choice for ruler.
* IntellectualAnimal: Rhydan are intelligent, telepathic animals; in Aldis they can even be citizens. Several sit on the Queen's council to advise her about politics.
* KnightInShiningArmor: The Knights of the Blue Rose are classic knights sworn to the defense of Aldis. The Knights of the Pure Flame in Jarzon often also qualify, as implacable foes of the Shadow.
* KnightTemplar:
** The Church of Pure Light employs a few as a matter of course. Their Knights of the Pure Flame can be encountered as allies or enemies, depending on the GM.
** A few Aldins can be like this too; one of the suggested campaign seeds involves an Aldin noble firebrand whipping up support for a preemptive invasion of Jarzon.
* LightIsGood: The Light, as a concept, is identified with all that's good, and the Gods of Light embody the SevenHeavenlyVirtues. That said...
* LightIsNotGood: The Church of the Pure Light is not ''evil'', but they're a hotbed of misguided, bigoted [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]]. Every evil thing they do comes from a misguided need to survive their inhospitable land and their own Mordor-like Shadow Barrens on their southern border.
* TheLostWoods: The Pavin Weald. Its people are reclusive and distrustful of outsiders- even those from their rulers in Aldis. Most Kernish spies and invasions come stomping through them first, so their suspicion is justified.
* MadGod: While looking for an edge over the other three primordials Anwaren, god of autumn, bit off more than he could chew when he was {{mind rape}}d and driven quite mad by [[DarkIsEvil the Shadow]] which resulted in the creation of [[SevenDeadlySins the Seven Exarchs]]. He was eventually saved by [[ActionGirl Aulora]] and [[TheSmartGuy Goia]] (the goddesses of justice and prudence, respectively) and nursed back to health. Because of this he is often sought for guidance when someone goes crazy.
* MagicKnight: The system makes this a very easy character build. Even your standard Warrior can gain access to a Shaping Arcana or two during an extended campaign. In particular, the Knights of the Pure Flame train warrior-adepts as a part of their military doctrine.
* {{Magitek}}: The Old Kingdom was a heavily Magitek based society, and Aldis has recovered a lot of their techniques. Magical gates that operate as wormholes to other nations/worlds and enormous crystal-powered cannons defending Kern are just two of the example provided in the books.
* TheMarvelousDeer: The Golden Hart.
* {{Matriarchy}}: The Matriarchy of Lar'tya, an archipelago south of the main continent, is ruled by the female humans through a FantasticCasteSystem. While there is open disregard for the rights of men, its women also view non-human species like Sea-Folk as quaint and [[FantasticRacism undeserving of full rights]], whether they be female or male. Their views of Aldin's egalitarian society run the gamut from confused to hostile.
* MedievalStasis: Strongly averted. It's got the trappings of a medieval world, but Aldis actually has mundane technology at around the level of TheCavalierYears, and if you count magic and magical artifacts, in some ways it's as advanced as the modern world. Politically, the government is closer to a constitutional monarchy than a medieval one, and its government bureaucracy resembles the Imperial Chinese system mixed with Europe's Knights.
* MindOverManners: Psychic ethics are a big deal in Aldis, where about one in ten people have some kind of psychic power. Reading emotions is okay, reading thoughts is very much not. Influencing thoughts is [[BadPowersBadPeople frowned upon]] unless used by Aldin Judges.
* ModestRoyalty: Aldin monarchs often come from humble backgrounds. The current Queen, Jaellin, was essentially an archivist of magical lore. Other rulers were fishermen, dancers, and office clerks.
* {{Mordor}}:
** Kern, the one remaining nation still ruled by a SorcerousOverlord.
** Also the Shadow Barrens. An entire wasteland that was once the Roamer homeland Faenaria, now overrun with Darkfiends and Shadowspawn since the Great Rebellion, forever clawing at the Jarzoni. And they don't have [[RidiculouslyDifficultRoute the Ice-Binder Mountains]] to protect them, like Aldis does...
* NatureHero: Animists get a bunch of feats relating to interaction with animals and wilderness survival.
* TheNecrocracy: Kern. Its Lich Lord, Jarek, often used undead and Vampiric servants to hold the nation in a stranglehold. In Second Edition, this trope is still largely in effect- one of the Seven Kernish Overlords is a Vampire.
* NoTranshumanismAllowed:
** Flesh-Shaping, which the Sorcerer-Kings used for genetic engineering, is sorcery. The book mentions that it can be used for good purposes, but it's still inherently a sin against nature and causes TheCorruption in its users.
** The Second Edition eases back on the restriction by stating that Flesh-Shaping is not sorcery when used on a willing subject. The more advanced applications of it are still lost arts, but changing appearance [[GenderBender or even gender]] is fine now.
* NoWomansLand: Jarzon subscribes to a fairly misogynistic religion. Women are encouraged to stay barefoot and pregnant and are barred from most high-status careers, especially the priesthood. They are allowed to be [[WhiteMagicianGirl Hospitalers]], however they still have to respond to their superiors who are always male priests.
* OfferedTheCrown: A mysterious creature called [[IncorruptiblePurePureness the Golden Hart]] chooses the next Sovereign of Aldis.
* TheOldGods: The Gods of Twilight, Selene, Braniel, Maurenna and Anwaren, who created the world and rule over natural forces.
* OnlyThePureOfHeart: Only the pure of heart get to rhy-bond with Unicorns or become nobles in Aldis (and there's a magical artifact that makes sure...though nothing stops them from turning evil ''after'' they've passed its test).
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: They're called "darkfiends", but otherwise they fit the Judeo-Christian ideal of utterly evil creatures with a variety of callings (the book explicitly says that a darkfiend [[AscendedDemon turning good]] is a world-shaking event).
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: Both wyverns and [[ShoulderSizedDragon miniature "pocket dragons"]] are mentioned, but curiously, not actual full-sized dragons.
* OurElvesAreBetter: The vatazin, a [[{{Precursors}} super-magical race that was destroyed by genocide long before the game takes place]]. [[spoiler: A small community survived, hiding in a mountain in the heart of the Shadow Barrens.]]
** The closest thing to elves as a playable race are the vata'an, which are really more like half-elves -- humans with vatazin ancestry; it crops up unpredictably as a recessive trait. They have white hair, and there's no mention of pointy ears.
** There's also the vata'sha, which are more like half-[[TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms Drow]] or [[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} Night Elves]], having been the result of genetic experiments to create nocturnal vata'an. They're less accepted than their diurnal cousins.
* OurGryphonsAreDifferent: While Unicorns are acknowledged as the most powerful magical beings in Aldis (barring a reappearance of the Vata), they're reclusive and rarely interact with other beings. Gryphons share the same magical power, but they often bond with valiant and good partners.
* OurLichesAreDifferent / OurVampiresAreDifferent: They're actually two different varieties of the same kind of [[TheUndead undead]]; specifically, people who decided to embrace TheCorruption and eventually died from its overuse, with non-casters rising as vampires and mages rising as liches.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: The Night People are actually a ServantRace genetically engineered by [[EvilSorcerer mad sorcerer-kings]] centuries ago. They're not actually AlwaysChaoticEvil, but being used as [[{{Mook}} Mooks]] by a long series of [[DarkLord Dark Lords]] tends to give people that impression.
* PantheraAwesome: Rhy-cats. (They don't correspond to any specific real-world big cat, but they're something like cougars, with coloration resembling domestic Siamese cats.)
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Averted (surprisingly, given the game's liberal stance). The Theocracy of Jarzon is a bigoted, sexist, homophobic society...but they're explicitly not evil so much as a bunch of misguided [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]] who are still capable of doing a lot of good in the world despite their problems. [[BigBad Jarek the Lich King]], on the other hand, ''mostly'' does not care about race or gender -- [[EqualOpportunityEvil he wants to oppress everybody pretty much equally]]. The only exception is that vata'an born in Kern are dead meat.
** In regards to Jarzon, the game appears to take its cues from one of its inspirations, Mercedes Lackey's ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series, where Valdemar's rival country Karse is portrayed with sympathetic aspects (in Karse's case, its problems came from a CorruptChurch). In Jarzon's, they've been at war with the demons of the Shadow Barrens since the Great Rebellion, while Aldis has had long periods of peace to rebuild.
* {{Polyamory}}: It's standard practice in certain coastal regions of Aldis, and considered very weird but not actually persecuted in the rest of the country. In Jarzon, of course, it's illegal.
** Given a further emphasis in the Knights of the Rose in Second Edition. The fluff establishes that many Knights often choose to form Polyamorous relationships with at least two other Knights they work with regularly. Mechanically, this invokes ThePowerOfFriendship mechanic listed below.
* PowerCrystal: Shas crystals make for handy magical [[MacGuffin MacGuffins]].
* PowerIncontinence: A problem for any PC with the Wild Talent feat. Updated to Wild Arcane in the Second Edition.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Second Edition allows characters to establish "Relationships" with other [=PCs=] and [=NPCs=] (both friendly and antagonistic). They can be called upon to enhance the stunts players can perform when conducting actions related to/affecting their relationship.
* {{Precursors}}: The vatazin, and the whole civilization of the Old Kingdom. The entire known world in the setting is built off of the ruined civilizations of these two.
* PsychicPowers: One of the main kinds of magic used every day in Aldis. Distant cities can spread warnings and requests for help much faster than using a courier, all by maintaining friendships with their peers.
* PureIsNotGood: Subverted. The Church of the ''Pure'' Light is one of the main antagonist factions, [[KnightTemplar zealots]] out to eradicate everything that they believe represents corruption. However, the point is made that their fanaticism has [[FightFireWithFire caused them to make use of morally iffy methods]] such as sorcery, meaning that they are actually [[CorruptChurch less morally pure]] and [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans more pragmatic]] than the Aldins, who are much ''less'' inclined to think that the ends justify the means. Also, many of the things that the Church of the Pure Light condemn (e.g., [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Night People]], gender equality, being gay) are actually harmless or even beneficial, and the problem with the Church isn't that it goes too far in opposing them but that it opposes them in the first place. Pure ''is'' good in Aldea, but not everyone who claims that they're pure necessarily are.
* RedemptionEarnsLife: In this setting, mercy towards one's enemies is a Good Thing, except for creatures that are [[AlwaysChaoticEvil irredeemably part of the Shadow]] (and even then, a case can be made for trying). Aldis has no death penalty, and the book instructs players not to kill when redemption is an option.
* TheResenter: Lord Sayvin thought he was destined for the crown of Aldis, but the Golden Hart had other ideas. Sayvin is not happy about that. [[spoiler: He takes it one step too far in Second Edition, allowing the Lich King to invade Aldis in an attempt to unseat Jaellin.]] It doesn't end well for him.
* RitualMagic: Often, but not always, BlackMagic.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: The entire governmental system of Aldis is designed around averting this. Invoked, in that monarchs chosen by the Golden Hart are worthy of the crown when they are chosen. At least one monarch of Aldis had to be deposed after being corrupted by Shadowspawn AFTER being chosen.
* SapientCetaceans: Ordinary, non-sentient wolves and horses exist, but all dolphins are [[IntellectualAnimal rhydan]].
* SapientSteed: Rhy-horses, and less commonly, unicorns and gryphons.
* SeriousBusiness: Just about everything, for the Trebutane. A sample adventure has the player character encountering two Trebutane men who are on the verge of a knife fight over whether wearing the colour red is respectful to their martyrs, and therefore mandatory, or disrespectful to their martyrs, and therefore forbidden.
* SevenDeadlySins: The result of the autumn god's {{mind rape}} and the first evil beings in existence, the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Exarchs of]] [[DarkIsEvil Shadow]] fully [[EmbodimentOfVice embody a deadly sin]] each: Gravicarius (pride), Tyrexxus (wrath), Ulasta (envy), In'nassi (lust), Viasta (sloth), Yungo (gluttony) and Mytaxx (greed).
* SevenHeavenlyVirtues: Birthed from the tears of Maureena, the summer goddess, the [[LightIsGood Gods of Light]] [[EmbodimentOfVirtue represent the seven virtues]] as well as the core aspects of human culture.
** Hiathas, god of ''hope'', the sun, beauty and dance.
** Leonoth, god of ''faith'', the hearth and family.
** Felisar, god of ''charity'', travelers, people in peril, the poor and the sick.
** Aulora, goddess of ''justice'', law and soldiers.
** Goia, goddess of ''prudence'', artisanship and commerce.
** Gaelenir, god of ''fortitude'', exploration, learning and the sea.
** Athne, goddess of ''temperance'', good fortune, plenty and wine.
* ShiningCity: The city of Aldis. Each of its districts is modeled to be welcoming and familiar to people from the Kingdom's several provinces and races.
* ShipperOnDeck: In Aldea, it's expected that everyone will eventually marry someone (or [[{{Polyamory}} someones]], as the case may be), so when two people meet up and seem like they like each other, everyone around them starts matchmaking.
** An entire setting is based around this trope in Second Edition. ''The Wedding Planners'' requires the players find and bring together couples in love throughout Aldis, then use their powers to put on a show-stopper wedding.
* ShoulderSizedDragon: Drakes or "pocket dragons," about a foot in length, one of the less common species of rhydan.
* ShoutOut:
** Rhy-Horses are essentially [[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Companions]].
** The Spirit Dancers are based on the Chearis from Elizabeth A. Lynn's ''Chronicles of Tornor''.
* ShroudedInMyth: The Old Kingdom. Most of the works were destroyed either during the Dark Age of the Empire of Thorns or the subsequent Apocalyptic Great Rebellion.
* SoiledCityOnAHill: The original homeland of the Roamers, Faenaria, once rivaled the power of the Old Kingdom itself. As the Shadow Wars and the Great Rebellion raged and consumed the world, their politics became corrupted with shadow magic and covert assassinations, all to keep their nation's borders closed and secure. Their Empress used Shadowgates to summon armies of Darkfiends to hold on to her power and repel the other Sorcerer Kings. When the armies of the Great Rebellion arrived, she used the Shadowgates to try and create a barrier that would kill any living thing that entered her territory. [[ExactWords It went]] [[EarthShatteringKaboom as planned.]]
* SomethingAboutARose
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Beast Speech is a standard [[PsychicPowers Psychic Power]].
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Embracing Corruption often leads to this in First Edition. In Second Edition, a character can access powerful magic and use it without fear, but if their Stamina drops to -5 from the constant Corruption, they are consumed by the evil magic.
* SwampsAreEvil: The Veran Marsh, the border between Aldis and Jarzon, created when a FantasticNuke from the Old Kingdom exploded. There's only FOUR known safe roads through it; any other path generally leads to a horrifying death. And whatever you do, ''[[SchmuckBait do NOT try to use shaping magic there to create your own path]]''.
* TheSyndicate: The Silence is a common opponent to the Sovereign's Finest, dealing in blackmail, corruption, stolen property, and [[HappyFunBall mystical doodads]].
* TarotMotifs: Roamer culture is rather obsessed with Tarot cards (they call them "The Royal Road"). They're also used to define every character's Calling, virtue and vice.
* TopGod: Interestingly the position is filled not by one, but by ''[[TheOldGods four]]'' gods who share the responsability of running the world, which is represented by the passing of the four seasons. MadGod Anwaren's desire to be THE Top God actually led to the creation of the Exarchs of Shadow, i.e. the creation of evil in the world, reinforcing the idea that tyranny is bad.
** In contrast, the Church of Pure Light teaches that Leonoth is the greatest of the gods and should be worshiped above the rest of them.
* {{Transgender}}: Gets a cursory mention in the First Edition as a possible character option. In the second edition they are given considerably more space, as ''laevvel bran'maur''[[labelnote:♥]] "beyond the loom of Braniel and Maurenna" - a catch-all term for people with atypical gender identities[[/labelnote]] are believed (rightly or wrongly) by many people in-setting to possess souls that are close to enlightenment and to have a special relationship with the spirits because of it. Also, in Second Edition, [[GenderBender gender-reassignment magic]] is no longer [[BlackMagic sorcery]].
* {{Unicorn}}: They're rare and fairly reclusive, but they exist. They are exceedingly powerful magical creatures that helped to lead the Great Rebellion to victory. And in the [[FreeLoveFuture Free Love Fantasty]], they thankfully don't care about physical virginity- but they will only associate [[OnlyThePureOfHeart with The Pure Of Heart]].
* UnicornsAreSacred: They're the holiest of rhydan, and murdering one is one of the most heinous sins possible.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Jarzon as a whole. It's a far harsher land than Aldis, and the Church of the Pure Light was originally an underground religion of resistance that formed around the sacred hearth-fires. Their war against the Shadow continued for a generation after Aldis' ended, and they must still contend with Darkfiends, Shadowspawn, the Undead, and insane Elementals that attack from the Shadow Barrens. Seeing what the madness of Faenaria wrought in the Barrens through the use of magic, the Church's suspicion of sorcery has extended to all arcana not practiced by their clergy (though healers get a pass), and the importance of the hearth-fire (which symbolizes family and heterosexual love) has led to a rather ugly prejudice against homosexuality.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: A few references are made in the rule books to a land across the great seas, with explorers from Aldis making the journey to meet the inhabitants found there and returning successfully. Nothing has been made of these references- no cultures, maps, plot points, or anything, has been described.
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: The game encourages you to avert this trope with a lot of the various antagonists. Darkfiends and most Shadowspawn are fair game for swording first and asking questions later but other kinds of enemies are often merely tragically misguided, victims of circumstance, or [[PunchClockVillain Punch Clock Villains]] and really don't deserve to die for their mistakes.
* WhiteAndGreyMorality: Compared to a lot of other fantasy settings, Aldis has very few people who are outright ''evil''. There are ''monsters'' who are inherently evil, the Exarchs of Shadow and their demonic minions (the game book literally says meeting a "good" Shadowspawn is a reality changing event). People, meanwhile, are most often either misguided or simply very selfish, and few are beyond redemption. Sayvin may secretly detest Jaellin but this due to a combination of honestly believing he would have made a better King for Aldis and plain, old, all-too-human jealousy.
** Jarzon may be extremely prejudiced against gay people but their position becomes far more understandable (even if one doesn't agree with it) once you realize their people have suffered such losses during the war against the Shadow Barrens that they're all but at risk of ''extinction'' and can't afford people to be in relationships that won't produce children.
** The Matriarchy's FantasticCasteSystem came into being when their islands were flooded with Refugees fleeing the Empire of Thorns and Great Rebellion. While native Lar'tyan's appreciated the expertise in magic and metalworking these people brought, they accepted the refugees into their society and reorganized their culture to create new castes for them. They look upon the destruction wrought by the god Anwaren, the Great Rebellion against the Sorcerer Kings, the villainy of Jarek, and the backwardness of Jarzon as proof that men cannot be trusted with any sort of real power.
** Even the Lich King gets a motivation that is presented in a fairly human fashion with his lust for knowledge and power.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Sorcery powers can be downright game-breaking. [[EvilMakesYouUgly Too bad your brain and body start melting when you use them repeatedly.]]
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Queen Jaellin is actually rather shy and bookish, but she's determined to be a good queen, and if that means spending her time at boring political and social functions, so be it.
** As of Second Edition, Jaellin has grown much more comfortably into her role after [[spoiler: surviving Sayvin's treachery, nearly losing control of the Kingdom to another Kernish invasion, leading the attack on the Lich King's throne room, and marrying one of the leaders of LaResistance in Kern.]]
* YaoiGuys: The gods Braniel and Hiathas (gods of spring and hope, respectively) represent passionate romance. Gays and lesbians are called ''caria daunen''[[labelnote:♥]]"lovers of the dawn"[[/labelnote]] because of them.
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''"For Aldis and the Queen!"''