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''Tales of Maj'Eyal'' is a {{Roguelike}} with a long history, stretching back at least 10 years. Originally titled ''[[Literature/DragonridersOfPern Pernband]]'', it was a variant of the classic Roguelike ''VideoGame/{{Angband}}'' with Pern influences -- although all Pern influences were removed following a Cease and Desist letter in the late 90s. It was then renamed ''Tales of Middle Earth'', the various Tolkien elements refined and perfected, and development continued on it off and on for a decade.

Like its parent game and other games in the genre, ''TOME'' revolves around the player character delving into a dungeon with limited resources. What separates it from other ''Angband'' variants is its scope -- whereas most ''Angband'' variants have a single dungeon and small town at the top, ''TOME'' contains an entire world map based on Tolkien's Middle Earth, complete with multiple towns and dozens of dungeons, all with different themes. In addition, the game has a quest system, giving the pointless dungeon crawling some actual point.

Another thing that differentiates ''TOME'' from early ''Angband'' variants (with the possible exception of ''[=Zangband=]'') in the genre is the sheer number of classes, races, and subclasses -- wish to play as a Vampire Troll Druid? Ok. Barbarian Kobold Monk? Done. Spectral Dwarven Axemaster of Tulkas? Go for it. Each character class / race / subrace has its own ups and downs, and creating interesting combinations is part of the fun.

An attempt to recreate the game from scratch, avoiding some of the development problems of the 2.x line, started and stalled out. In the meantime, the author and primary developer got married and vanished off the face of the planet, leaving development of the new 3.x line in doubt. Around the same time, a script kiddy broke into the forum's admin account, wiping them clean of ten years worth of posts - with no backups.

However, in 2010 development was restarted after the Author returned, resulting in the 4.x line - a complete rewrite of the game. Moving away from ''Tales of Middle Earth'' to ''Tales Of Maj'Eyal'' to avoid the possibility of a second Cease and Desist letter, as well as making the HighFantasy elements (fireballs and teleportation spells) make more sense, the game is currently going through a development version of WikiMagic.

A "mini" expansion titled ''Ashes of Urh'Rok'' was released on October 27th, 2014. It expands on the demon race and their world, Mal'Rok, and adds classes and races focused on harnessing their powers.

A larger expansion pack titled ''Embers of Rage'' was released on February 23rd, 2016. It takes place one year after the events of the main campaign. The protagonist of the main campaign, known by the Orcs as the Scourge of the West, has single-handedly decimated the Orc Prides in the Far East. Meanwhile, the Sunwall, now in possession of a Sher'Tul Farportal linking them with Maj'Eyal, has entered an economic and military alliance with the Allied Kingdoms. With their help, almost all of Var'Eyal is now under their control. What little remains of the Orc Prides is now locked in cages. However, not all is lost for the Orcs. Kruk's Pride was left untouched by the Scourge, and remains as the only Orc settlement left. Unfortunately, they are nevertheless facing mortal peril: The Sunwall has them besieged and unable to enter the mainland, and on their island they are at war with the Atmos Tribe, a civilization of technologically advanced giants that are determined to keep interlopers out of their territory. As one of the last few Orcs that remain, your only hope is to reverse engineer the Atmos Tribe's technology and use it to reclaim your land and your future.

'''Be warned: The ''Embers of Rage'' section contains unmarked spoilers for the main campaign.'''

It can be downloaded [[http://tome.te4.org/ here]].

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!!Tales Of Maj'Eyal provides examples of:
* AdventurerArchaeologist: Technically speaking, ''you.'' The world is recovering after a 10,000 year old dark age, and there are all kinds of shiny objects hidden in those dungeons.
* AfterTheEnd: The Spellblaze devastated the land and destroyed true magic, however it has "been tamed," the planet is entering a golden age, and the ruins of the [[TheTimeOfMyths Age of Allure]] are being explored and reclaimed by [[AdventurerArchaeologist intrepid adventurers]]. [[HistoryRepeats It's worth noting that these are pretty much the same conditions that led to the founding]] of [[TheEmpire the first halfling empire]], the wars of the Age of Allure, and the Spellblaze.
* AlreadyUndoneForYou: In the alternate layout of the Ruins of [=Kor'Pul=], [[spoiler:a bandit tribe moves into the ruins and kills the Shade of [=Kor'Pul=] before you can...only for the Shade to possess the bandits' chief.]]
* AmuletOfDependency: Ogres require runes to maintain their unnatural bodies. This isn't normally a big deal, and in fact their experience with runes means that they are more capable of using all kinds of inscriptions, but adopting the practice of AntiMagic leaves them with a shortened lifespan because their enhanced bodies have to hold together without magical aid.
* AntiGrinding: ''TOME'' does its best to employ this, despite being part of an infamously grind-heavy subgenre of [[{{Roguelike}} roguelikes]]. Monsters don't respawn, XP gains hit diminishing returns extremely quickly, and anything that can be fought multiple times either gives no XP or scales up into unbeatableness. The sole exception is the Sher'tul farportal, which sends you to randomly generated otherworlds with the usual sanity checks on random generation turned off -- using the portal is a lot like playing RussianRoulette with your character.
* AntimagicalFaction: The Ziguranth oppose the use of arcane forces (though not other sources of power).
* ApocalypticLog: [[OnceAnEpisode Once per dungeon]], you find the records left behind by some previous explorer. Typically, the final record either ends abruptly after a reference to the boss (and has bloodstains on it), or describes how the writer was corrupted or hypnotized into allying with the boss.
* ArcherArchetype: Unsurprisingly, the Archer class. Includes unusual abilities such as Piercing Shot (which hits all enemies in a row) and Rain of Arrows.
* TheAtoner: It's implied in the unlock texts that classes that are normally [[AlwaysChaoticEvil inherently evil]] in-universe (Cursed, Reavers, etc.) have become this when they're player-characters.
* AuthorAvatar: Linaniil of Angolwen is a recurring character of the developer [=DarkGod=].
* BanOnMagic: Arcane magic used to be forbidden across Maj'Eyal, with even those who ''sympathized'' with spellcasters being [[BurnTheWitch burned at the stake]]. Now, the only ones who still care are the Ziguranth, though that's partly because the true mages are all in hiding for one reason or another.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The Ziguranth are, by and large, psychotic [[KnightTemplar Knights Templar]] who ruthlessly murder mages, mage sympathizers, and anyone who might kind of look like a mage. But...
** They're often [[WhoYouGonnaCall the last line of defense]] against genuinely ''evil'' mages, such as [[PsychoElectro High Tempest Urkis]].
** The only ones actually working to fight against them are [[spoiler: the Rhaloren, wicked elven renegades led by the [[BloodMagic Grand Corruptor]], and they're only doing it so that there'll be nobody left to stop their own ambitions]].
* BlackMagic: [[BloodMagic Vim]], {{Necromancy}}, and [[ThePowerOfHate Hate]]. All of these ''can'' be [[BadPowersGoodPeople used for good]], but they're all fueled by murder and have connections to [[{{Hell}} the Fearscape]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Linaniil just wants responsible magic users to be able to operate openly. Back during the Spellhunt, she was notorious for slaughtering [[MageKiller Ziguranth]] kill-squads to rescue other mages and acquired a reputation as a fireshrouded demon. These days she's stronger than the final bosses, only somewhat weaker defensively than the bonus boss and has the strongest offense in the game.
** [[spoiler: And her active days were BEFORE she stole the power of a dead god - and stayed sane and herself. There is a reason she has six prodigies when the player can only get two.]]
* BloodMagic: Wielded by Defilers. Vim magic is regenerated through bloodsucking and murder.
* BodyHorror: The vast majority of the enemies in the [[PunnyName Deep Bellow]] are this. [[spoiler: They used to be a dwarven expedition which got corrupted by the presence of Amakthel. The boss is the transfiguration of the foreman's ''mouth''.]]
** Oozemancers seem determined to do this to ''themselves''. Mitosis causes you to generate ooze escorts when you suffer damage. Which suggests that a piece of your body ''fell away from the wound to become this ooze''. And then there's Indiscernible Anatomy, which reduces all enemies' critical chances and lets you resist more status effects. How? Your organs are ''melding into each other''. The skill descriptions in general suggest that Oozemancers become "closer to nature" by ''becoming'' oozes themselves.
** The ogres of the Conclave Vault [[spoiler: were created when the various soldiers therein popped themselves into the ogre transformation tanks so that they could remain in stasis until the Conclave found them. Some of the transformations went bad, and the transformed humans were left as nothing more than "ogrish masses."]]
* BonusBoss: In some sense, ''most'' of the bosses are technically optional (like most dungeons), but some are more bonus than others.
** Bill the Stone Troll, who used to be an outrageous WakeUpCallBoss before was replaced by Prox and moved to a secret optional level.
** Kryl'Feijan, who [[spoiler: is summoned if Melinda is sacrificed]].
** The second bosses, which are level 40-50 bosses who appear in several low-level areas after returning from the other continent.
** Atamathon, a sleeping level 70 golem in the Golem Graveyard. He is far more powerful than the end bosses.
** Anyone in the game is killable, which means that terminating Linaniil is a popular SelfImposedChallenge.
** In ''Ashes of Urh'Rok'', the three elder demons. Kryl'Feijan (mentioned above), Shasshhiy'Kaish, the Queen of Pain, [[spoiler: who only pops up if you kill her cultists]], and Walrog, [[spoiler: who's wandering the seas, and can either be found randomly, or summoned if you backstab both Slasul and Ukllmswwik.]] Killing them [[spoiler: unlocks the Doomelf race]].
* BowAndSwordInAccord: While you can technically do this with Bulwarks, Berserkers, and Archers (they have access to both missile and melee skills...if you're willing to spend a skill category point for it, anyway), Temporal Wardens are the resident lords of this art. Not only do they have ''default'' melee and bow categories, their Blade and Bow Threading skillpaths let them auto-switch to the appropriate weaponry.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Those unfortunate enough to be captured by Demons and manage to survive their [[ColdBloodedTorture "experiments"]] are fashioned into Doombringers and Demonologists, powerful unholy warriors whose minds are completely enthralled by their Demon "controller". The player Doombringer/Demonologist was like this until a freak meteor strike killed their controller, allowing them to regain their free will and fight back against the Demons.
* BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood: Played with during the Allure Wars. [[spoiler:The Conclave of that time [[PoliceState weren't exactly]] [[PropagandaMachine role models]], but one thing that made them [[ALighterShadeOfBlack slightly better than]] [[TheEmpire their rivals]] was that they placed ''some'' value on their citizens' happiness, best exemplified by the [[StateSec Overseers]] loaning out [[MemoryWipingCrew their agents and amnesia-inducing spells]] to hospitals, using them to treat war veterans' PTSD; it's implied that [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Healer Astelrid]] specifically requested that they wipe her memory of having to [[MercyKill euthanize a loved one (or several) to prevent their transformation into a ghoul (or ghouls)]]. Granted, they ALSO used said abilities for more [[ReleasedToElsewhere nefarious]] [[PlayingWithSyringes purposes]], particularly when the war turned to a stalemate...]]
* BurnTheWitch: ''Very'' common during the Age of Dusk, when mages were thought to have activated the Spellblaze ''intentionally''. [[spoiler: They did, although they were only expecting the orcish armies to get blasted, not everyplace with a leyline running through it.]] Not to mention thought to one and all be necromancers and warlocks. One document from the time says that this is a pretty ineffective way of ridding yourself of a warlock--like they ''wouldn't'' think to ward themselves against this--but still likes it ''for setting an example when magic sympathizers are killed this way''.
* CardCarryingVillain: The Master. Unlike most villains, who act for their own power or some twisted ambition, the Master is a stereotypical necromancer who lives up to the role ForTheEvulz.
* CastFromHitPoints: Corruptors can use a talent to do this temporarily, while Solipsists invert this: their resource bar also doubles as a second health bar, and they take damage to it based on their Solipsism talent.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: Potentially at the very beginning of the game, you can purchase (for cheap!) Linaniil's Lecture on Humility in Angolwen. At the beginning, she refers to her worry over two promising students who'd had enough of Angolwen's strictures on what can and cannot be done by archmages, and fled the coop. At the end of the game, you meet the BigBadDuumvirate trying to bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt--and their descriptors speak of them as renegades from Angolwen. You don't suppose they got in an argument with Linaniil about constraint, do you?]]
* CharacterTiers: The monster tiers. You have Critter, which is basically cannon fodder, Normal, which is your average enemy, Elite, which is fairly dangerous and has similar stats to you, Boss, which is a seriously major enemy you need to be prepared for, and Elite Boss, which is limited to the most powerful, important and dangerous characters in the game. Your PC is Elite, by the way. [invoked]
* TheChosenOne: Averted. At the start of the game, you're just an adventure who's out to explore the various ruins, forests and dungeons of the world in search of treasure and adventure. It isn't until you clear the first half dozen dungeons that you stumble upon the plot.
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve: Solipsists run on this; if they don't believe they've been hurt by something, it doesn't hurt them. Too much of this, though, and they can descend into a mental echo chamber and lose touch with reality (which is a Bad Thing; their power to [[RealityWarper rewrite reality according to their whim]] has its limits).
* CosmeticAward: Most of the achievements are like this, but some unlock bonus classes and races.
* CursedWithAwesome: The Afflicted character classes and even more so the "Defiling Touch" and "Dark Gifts" talents of the "Cursed Aura" tree (if you level them high enough). Literally.
* DarkIsNotEvil:
** Not hardly, seeing how the Anorithil regard a light-darkness balance as vital to the world's well-being. There ''is'' an inherently evil element out there, still; it's called "blight".
** BlackMagic exists, and it's rather hard to be a nice person when your powers (and in some cases, your physical form itself) are fueled by murder, when your necromantic abilities draw whispers into your mind from the depths of Hell itself, or when you exude a paralyzing, debilitating gloom composed of ''hate''. However, this setting [[GrayAndGreyMorality lacks any objective standard or judge of morality]], and there's nothing stopping someone with these powers from using them for good, or at least using them as weapons against people who need to be killed anyway.
* DealWithTheDevil: How to become a Doomed in three easy steps: 1. Make one of these. 2. Suffer the inevitable betrayal of your demonic ally, who takes a good chunk of your powers with it. 3. Declare vengeance against all of creation.
** [[spoiler:[[MadScientist Tannen]]]] makes one for research data on Sher'Tul farportals, thinking he's getting the upper hand by feeding them faulty data in return. [[spoiler:They know, and they're getting far more information out of him than he realizes.]]
* DifficultButAwesome: Oozemancers. They are Zigur-aligned by default, meaning they can't use a good amount of otherwise very useful items, and they actually ''lose'' hit points per level rather than gain them, but they are nigh-unanimously considered the biggest GameBreaker class due to their summoning abilities and the relatively low cost of using them.
* DifficultyLevels: Five general difficulty settings and three extra life settings, plus a tutorial, make up for a whopping ''sixteen'' difficulty levels. It's also worth noting that each achievement has about 12 variants, one for each difficulty and lives combo, making qiute the list. The general difficulty settings are:
** Normal: Is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as far as difficulty levels go in the game. Hard, but [[NintendoHard nowhere near]] the challenge level provided by other classical roguelikes.
** Easier: Suited for more casual players or those who want to learn the game before tackling higher levels. Damage done to the player and the duration of detrimental effects are both reduced significantly, while player healing is boosted. However, [[EasyModeMockery achievements are not granted]] when playing this difficulty.
** Nightmare: A hard mode of an already hard game, zone levels are increased and creatures's talent levels as well. As a minor boon, the player levels up faster and gets better loot, but often not enough to compensate without showing some great skills and knowledge.
** Insane: Compare Nightmare to Normal. Take the result and compare it to Nightmare. Calling this setting NintendoHard might be a slight underestimation. You must win the game (on any difficulty/extra lives setting) to unlock Insane mode.
** Madness: Basically, it's NintendoHard taken UpToEleven and beyond. Compare Insane to Nightmare and apply the result to Insane. It's so difficult that even given all the knowledge and resourcefulness of the most veteran players, only ''thirty'' Madness wins (out of over 19000 attempts!) were ever recorded since the introduction of this difficulty in 1.1.0 (as of July 2 2015). And of them at least 11 was with a custum race and/or Class which might not count due to being overpowered
* DiscOneNuke: Bill's Tree Trunk. Assuming [[BonusBoss you're able to beat Bill]] and the RNG is in a good mood when you do and it drops, it's one of the best two handed weapons in the early to mid game.
* DoWellButNotPerfect: [[spoiler:Unlocking the Doom Elf race requires you to find and defeat 3 Demon {{Bonus Boss}}es. One of them, [=Kryl'Feijan=], only spawns if you fail the Melinda sidequest. (though given how [[BrutalBonusLevel notoriously hard]] that dungeon is, this may actually be the easier alternative)]]
* DualWielding: Favored by Rogues, Shadowblades, Marauders, Reavers, and Temporal Wardens. Reavers are unusual in that whereas the other dual-wielders can only use a dagger or a whip for the main-gauche, Reavers can use ''any'' one-handed weapon for the purpose.
* DummiedOut: The Orc Pits, presumably due to how {{Squick}}y TheReveal is.
** And almost immediately recreated as an add-on.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: [[spoiler: According to the records in the Doombringer/Demonologist areas, most of the worlds that had Sher'Tul farportals were ''annihilated'' by the Spellblaze.]]
* EldritchAbomination: It shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Horror super-class of monsters is this. The noteworthy part [[spoiler: is that the fabled {{Precursors}}, the Sher'Tul, were ''themselves'' Eldritch Abominations created by Amakthel expressly to ''conquer the world'']].
* EndlessGame: The Infinite Dungeon.
* EscortMission: Somewhere between "Escorting suicidal chipmunks" and "Leeroy Jenkins".
** You: "Wait a moment.."
** Injured NPC: "NO, WE MUST HURRY!!!" *runs off and fights a grizzly bear*
** As of b41 the random escorts now will try to run away from monsters if they see one.
*** Now they run away from the grizzly bear toward Wrathroot instead.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Tren-method necromancers use all manner of stratagems to avoid being corrupted by infernal presence. The Beinagrind-method necromancers, on the other hand, ''welcome'' this corruption, which they instead see as perfection of the psyche. The author of the necromancer primer wonders in-print why this "perfection" always seems to result in Beinagrinds becoming [[OmnicidalManiac Omnicidal Maniacs]]. The Tren, on the other hand, see no need to go beyond "lots of obeisance, respect, and fear".
* EvilCounterpart: Ben Cruthdar is this to PC Cursed. [[spoiler:You can also find a second EvilCounterpart in the Cursed-exclusive Tranquil Meadow dungeon]].
* EvilIsVisceral: At least when you're a Defiler. Sanguisuge (i.e. bloodsucking), plague, bone, blood...you get the idea.
* EvilVersusEvil: At the time of the Allure Wars, the Conclave [[spoiler: had become a totalitarian state, ruled by [[StateSec Overseers]] who had no ethical qualms with [[LaserGuidedAmnesia wiping inconvenient memories or sentiments]] from their citizens' minds, including those of wounded soldiers so they wouldn't object to [[PlayingWithSyringes being experimented on]] and converted into [[SuperSoldier Ogres]], and encouraged said Ogres to [[ToServeMan eat Halflings alive]] if the spectacle would be [[MakeAnExampleOfThem demoralizing to the enemy]] (and good for their troops' morale)]]... but they still come off as [[ALighterShadeOfBlack a nicer bunch]] than the Nargol Empire, who [[spoiler: kept an entire species as secret slaves and test subjects, experimented on prisoners of war, [[FantasticNuke committed the first act of mass necromancy in history]], had at least one squad that [[ISurrenderSuckers feigned surrender]], [[FantasticRacism called humans]] "[[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking lank-legs]]," and were generally the root cause for quite a lot of Maj'Eyal's currently ongoing problems]].
* FantasticNuke: Two examples in the Age of Allure:
** [[spoiler: The Nargol Empire issued necromantic charms to its ranking officers, then activated them all simultaneously when pushed to the brink of losing their war with the Conclave, reviving most of the war's casualties as undead in one massive attack. This was more of a Fantastic [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI Mustard Gas Attack]] - it didn't end the war, but it bought the Nargol enough time to ensure that it turned into an increasingly vicious stalemate, and they openly used necromancy from that moment onward. The surge of necromantic energy is responsible for wild undead roaming around to this day, thousands of years later.]]
** [[spoiler: The Shaloren attempted to use the energies of the Sher'Tul Farportals to power a fire spell to incinerate an invading orc horde; it incinerated them, all right, [[GoneHorriblyRight along with about a third of the planet]] in an incident now known as the Spellblaze, and has had countless long-term ramifications, from inciting the wrath of Demons to breaking reality badly enough to allow Chronomancy.]]
* FantasticRacism: Not a major plot of the game, but it exists. Halflings and yeeks are old enemies--especially since the halflings originally ''enslaved'' the yeeks (and the first orcs, too!)--and everyone hates the [[OurElvesAreBetter Shaloren]] (especially their Thaloren kin). In the BackStory, halflings and humans were enemies, but since the marriage of Toknor and Mirvenia, they've been allied together.
** Many old halfling texts show heavy racism towards humans, whom they believe are intellectually inferior, with one mad scientist gleefully (and very brutally) experimenting on humans (and yeeks). Shaloren tend to think that non-elven races are inferior as well. Higher humans are very racist towards other humans, claiming a superior bloodline; complete with superior intellect and better looks, and generally avoid mating with non-higher humans. All races are, unsurprisingly, highly racist towards orcs and most people seem to have no remorse for wiping the orcs out of existence [[spoiler:though unbeknownst to all but the dwarves, they did not actually wipe out all of the orcs. On that note, the orc texts, even less surprisingly, reveal racism towards all of the other races; as well as massive contempt for the hostile attitudes that other races have towards orcs]].
* FateWorseThanDeath: According to the [[HaveANiceDeath text blurb]], dying against High Tempest Ukris results in him using your still living body in his mad electricity based experiments.
** The Master is even worse. He takes great enjoyment of using slain adventurers as new ghouls and skeletons and ghasts and spirits to wander his halls for all of eternity (well, at least until another adventurer comes along and slays them). He enjoys tormenting his victims ruthlessly. He tortured a dwarf to find out where the dwarf's companions were, even though he admitted that he could have simply used divination magic. He chased a halfling around his halls for weeks for pure enjoyment, and only ended up killing the halfling (and raising him as a skeleton) when he got bored of watching the halfling pathetically eat his own feces to survive. It's implied that he tempted a human into betraying her companions for power (or perhaps he used some form of mind control). Instead, he tore out her soul and forced her to wander his halls as a spirit.
** Demons want to do this to everyone on Eyal that they don't have to kill during the initial invasion. Thaurheregs, in particular, are made from the bodies and souls of captives they got [[ColdBloodedTorture too]] [[PlayingWithSyringes rough]] with, and are implied to have some level of consciousness in their current state, albeit manipulated by enchantments to make them seek out "revenge" on their former allies instead of their actual tormentors. A demonic statue-plaque describes this as "hilarious."
* FinalDeath: Averted in some of the difficulty modes, but those lock out Achievements. Also, unlike most Roguelikes, ''Maj'Eyal'' allows you to immediately restart the game upon death, either as your original character with the same initial stat allocations, or as a new character.
* FinalSolution: Toknor ordered this upon the orcs after his [[InterspeciesRomance halfling queen and their unborn son]] were nearly killed, the capstone for him of all the [[RapePillageAndBurn marauding]] the orcs had done towards everyone else during the Age of Pyre. [[spoiler: The Orc Prides who were safe in the Far East aren't taking this lying down.]]
* FlashStep: The Skirmisher's Tumble ability basically works like this; it's an instant, short range "teleport". As a bonus it gives you a boost to your critical hit rate immediately after using it.
* FlunkyBoss: The Mouth, boss of the [[PunnyName Deep Bellow]]. ''Nothing'' hurts it. What you have to do is wait for it to use Gift of Amakthel (and duck behind a plant in the meantime to avoid Call of Amakthel and Drain) to generate a Slimy Crawler and kill ''that'', which will result in the Mouth suffering about 1000 damage. You'll need to take down 10-12 Crawlers to finally do in the Mouth.
* GeniusBruiser: Ogres' might goes without saying, but despite being stereotyped as DumbMuscle, they are also ''more'' intelligent than humans in many ways, not less. While they do prefer simple and direct solutions over complex ones, they are more cunning than humans when it comes down to it, their magical proficiency is equal to that of the [[OurElvesAreBetter Shaloren]], and due to the need to maintain their magically-enhanced bodies, they are Maj'Eyal's foremost rune masters.
* GenreSavvy: If you awaken Walrog by [[spoiler: killing both Slasul and Ukllmswwik, and then offer to side with him instead, he points out that after you backstabbed both sides like that, you're hardly someone he wants to have to share the seas with.]]
* GlassCannon: Any race-class combination with a life penalty tends toward this. It's particularly common among yeeks.
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: [[spoiler: After millennia of being stuck in the interstellar void, Gerlyk--the primary creator god of Eyal--has fallen prey to this. [[OmnicidalManiac Violently so.]]]]
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Brawlers' specialty.
* GravityMaster: Paradox Mages can become this if you so choose. The Gravity powers lack raw damage but work together well and give you lots of control and positioning options.
* GuideDangIt: The Derth Stormcloud quest. See {{Unwinnable}} below. Also, many of the requirements for unlocking classes and races.
* HalfHumanHybrid: The King of the Allied Kingdoms is the son of King Toknor (a Higher human) and Queen Mirvenia (halfling). He appears completely human, however, and he is the first known example of this happening.
* HaveANiceDeath: When you die, the death message is customized to the kind of weapon or element that killed you, from the mundane (e.g. "skewered", "frozen") to the not-so-brief ("slowly cooked", "grandfathered" for dying to temporal damage, "treehugged" for dying to nature damage, etc.). In addition, if a ''boss'' kills you, a very special fate is added to the message. The Mouth: "[[BodyHorror turned into a shrieking drem bat]]". Prox the Mighty: "eaten raw". Subject Z: "bloodily smeared across the walls". Bill the Stone Troll "(method) to death ([[ThatOneBoss yet]] [[LampshadeHanging again]]) and cooked into stew". And so on.
** Note that in later versions, these always have "to death" somewhere in them, usually at the end ("frozen to death," "skewered to death," etc.) This can get quite weird, e.g. "replaced with a temporal clone (and no one ever knew the difference) to death."
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: The document that doesn't think [[BurnTheWitch burning warlocks]] is good for much more than making examples of sympathizers ''does'' have a deeply recommended way of ''definitively'' dispatching mages. When you read it, you'll find yourself wondering how they managed to miss the sheer sadism of the method...
** In one of the loading screen blurbs of the first RC, it's mentioned that the Ziguranth were founded by ''escaped test subjects of the Conclave''. They ultimately became the resident [[KnightTemplar KnightsTemplar]] [[AntimagicalFaction against magic]].
** After the Spellblaze wrecked Mal'Rok, the demons dedicated themselves to avenging all the trillions of souls who lost their lives to it. One problem--[[ColdBloodedTorture they want to visit upon those responsible the accumulated pain of all the Spellblaze's victims, as that will be needed to even approximate "justice".]] It doesn't help that they think the mortal races are actually Sher'Tul creations, and that even Eyal itself is guilty in some fashion.
* HiveMind: The yeeks have one in the form of The Way. This is the first version of a Hive Mind, where it's just a case of all the minds being in constant contact. Their aqueous cousins the yaech want nothing to do with it.
* {{Hobbits}}: Maj'Eyal halflings are mostly common farmers, but that's because most ''people'' are common farmers. In the past, the Halfling race created the first great empire of the Age of Allure by military force and magical [[MadScientist Mad Science]], enslaving and experimenting on humans and yeeks, and halflings retain their militaristic traditions even in the modern era. The Allied Kingdoms, the dominant power in Maj'Eyal, were formed by a union of the Human and Halfling kingdoms.
* HopelessBossFight: You're not supposed to successfully beat [[spoiler: Ukruk]], though it's do-able if you've got the right loadout and stay on your toes. If you do succeed, [[spoiler: the game forces you to hand the Staff of Absorption over to the Last Hope elder, where it will promptly be stolen by the bad guys. So while you win the battle, [[TheBattleDidntCount it doesn't actually make a difference in the grand scheme of things]].]]
* HumansAreAverage: The Cornacs fit the trope to a tee, being the baseline race and having no particular racial abilities, but having an extra category point allows them to unlock other ability trees much more easily. Highers avert the trope.
* HumanSubspecies: The Highers are the purebred descendants of humans who were experimented on by halflings during the Age of Allure. They're longer-lived and gifted with great magical potential, but don't advance as quickly as Cornacs and lack their versatility.
* {{Hypocrite}}: [[spoiler: After her lover was tortured and nearly destroyed by Spellhunters, Shasshhiy'Kaish concluded that Eyalites were hateful, barbaric and sadistic. Her response? She plans to laugh as the Fearscape plunges all Eyalites into death or endless torment, because they clearly deserve it, and to amuse herself in the meantime by torturing cultists almost to death before mailing them to the Fearscape for experimentation.]]
* IfItsYouItsOkay: If you're female, Melinda will comment on this after you rescue her.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Skirmishers' Called Shot skills let them do various special things with their slings. Kneecapper: snare an enemy. Kill Shot: do more damage to more distant enemies. Noggin Knocker: stun an enemy, or keep them stunned longer. The "Improbable" part comes from the fact that you get to ''ignore'' enemies between you and your actual victim--and sling shots don't normally deal in arc shots.
* InescapableAmbush: Averted in general, with one notable exception.
* JackOfAllStats: In races, the Cornac and Higher. In classes, the Mindslayer.
* JerkassHasAPoint: While the Ziguranth ''do'' actively encourage members to kidnap innocent mages or mage sympathizers and send them to Zigur for torture, magic does ''not'' have a good history in this setting, and evil mages are almost completely impossible for anyone else to control.
* KillingYourAlternateSelf: The only way to unlock the Paradox Mage class is to [[spoiler: play as a Temporal Warden and allow your future self to kill you.]]
* KnightTemplar: The Ziguranth have ''not'' left behind the magic-phobia that permeated the Ages of Dusk and Pyre. You can't even get ''in'' there on your own volition if you have any kind of arcane ability, and if you're brought there, you're in for a round of torture followed by death. [[UnreliableNarrator If you believe]] [[FictionalDocument "The story of my salvation,"]] though, they do have some standards. According to that narrator, the Ziguranth actually saved her from a TorchesAndPitchforks mob, despite her being an alchemist; she may have been involved in using minor arcane magic, but she wasn't evil, and she wasn't what the Ziguranth were looking to destroy. They're also very sympathetic towards those whose involvement with the arcane isn't their fault, as with [[spoiler: Melinda being tainted with demonic power during the failed attempt to sacrifice her]].
* LightIsNotGood: Amakthel created the sun for one purpose -- to lay claim to everything its light fell upon. Read: ''the entire world''.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Averted since it became "Tales of Maj'Eyal." The many varieties of warriors and wizards mostly grow at the same rate due to a standardized progression of class talents, and warriors receive their own martial techniques to balance out wizards' and [[MagicKnight Magic Knights']] magic; while some classes, races and race/class combinations do have easier early games, midgames or late games than others, it's not nearly as simple as wizards and warriors.
* LivingRelic:
** Subject Z was a human of the Age of Allure, the subject of experimentation on the part of a halfling MadScientist, and is still alive in the present day. [[AxCrazy His sanity didn't make it, though.]]
** [[spoiler: Linaniil of Angolwen is also a survivor from the Age of Allure.]]
** [[spoiler: Shasshhiy'Kaish, Walrog, and Kryl-Feijan are the only demons around who still resemble the pre-Spellblaze demonic race.]]
** [[spoiler: The Conclave Vault contains survivors from the Age of Allure, who've been forced to turn themselves into Ogres to use the stasis-tanks therein using the ''original'' forms of the Ogric inscriptions, which were less stable and tended to promote aggression.]]
* LivingShadow In particular, the Necromancer and Shadowblade classes. They both have abilities that can literally ''summon a shadow of themselves to fight alongside them''. Another mention is the Doomed class, which can summon shadows to flit around and attack enemies.
* LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe: Most notable for the Bulwark and the Sun Paladin, who each have a number of shield-based attacks and abilities. Other classes (like Wyrmics and Curseds) sometimes will use shields as well. The new Skirmisher class specializes in using sling and shield at the same time, and uses Cunning as the requisite for the shield. This results in a halfling with 18 Strength carrying around a shield bigger than he is.
* MacGuffin: [[spoiler:The Staff of Absorption.]]
* MagicAIsMagicA: There are at least seven forms of magic in Maj'Eyal, all of which channel different forces and operate on completely different principles.
** Standard magic (also known as "arcane magic," but that descriptor ''also'' applies to chronomancy, vim and celestial magic), which relies on {{Mana}}. Includes Necromancy and {{Alchemy}} among its many forms. Those who specialize in magic use can regenerate mana naturally, but others need to find items that help them with mana regeneration if they want to use it.
** [[TimeMaster Chronomancy]], the ability to effect changes in the fabric of space, time, matter and energy. Not limited by {{Mana}}, but meddling with the timestream creates Paradox, which simultaneously makes a Chronomancer's abilities more powerful and increases the chance of bizarre anomalies, explained as reality snapping towards a more likely timeline.
** Celestial magic, which draws on ThePowerOfTheSun, [[{{Lunacy}} the Moon]] and [[StarPower the Stars]] to invoke miraculous effects. Positive and Negative energy decay over time and do not regenerate naturally, but are refilled by using certain abilities. A lost art in Maj'Eyal, best known in the Far East.
** [[BloodMagic Vim]], used by Defilers. A nasty form of magic that does not regenerate naturally, but is refilled by bloodsucking and murder, and is used to damage people's bodies directly.
** Wild Gifts, which draw on nature. These are limited by one's Equilibrium, a measure of one's harmony with nature; if someone gets too far out of balance, their powers will cease to work. The specialty of the [[AntimagicalFaction Ziguranth]].
** PsychicPowers, most commonly found among the Yeek race. Psychic energy naturally regenerates slowly, but can be regained quickly by conversion of other energy (such as the kinetic energy of an attacker's blow) into psi.
** ThePowerOfHate, weaponized by the Afflicted. The Afflicted suffer from various curses, but through their own hatred and rage, they can turn their curse outward and use it against others instead.
** There are also [[LostTechnology devices powered by "unknown forces"]] and about the only thing we know about them is that they're not any of the others, that they're not any kind of arcane magic (at least so far as the Ziguranth can tell), and that the [[{{Precursors}} Sher'Tul]] made extensive use of them. It's unclear whether these are all the same kind of magic or whether it's a catch-all for "magic we don't understand."
* MagicKnight:
** In many different types - about one for each of the (numerous) power types. Arcane Blades channel regular old magic though their melee attacks, Wyrmics use the power of nature to emulate dragons to things like [[BreathWeapon breath fire/sand/ice/lightning]], Reavers use [[BlackMagic corrupting magic]] to give people diseases and then hack them apart, Sun Paladins sustain themselves through the power of the Sun, Cursed sap their enemies' will to fight with their [[ThePowerOfHate hate]], Temporal Wardens use [[TimeMaster Chronomancy]] to achieve a high-speed, high-mobility combat style, and Mindslayers use PsychicPowers to enhance their abilities and fight with telekinetically-wielded weapons.
** Mindstar Mastery allows any non-arcanist to become a MagicKnight wielding psionic [[LaserBlade Laser Blades]].
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: One piece of lore, written during the period where mages were actively persecuted, suggested that those who sympathize with mages who "mysteriously vanish" (as mage sympathizing ''technically'' wasn't illegal at the time) can serve as this.
* MesACrowd: Temporal Wardens have a few abilities that let them call on versions of themselves from alternate timelines for temporary aid.
* MindManipulation: A specialty of the yeek and yaech races. There's a gang of land-dwelling yaechs that use it to run a slaving ring.
* MindRape: The mind damage type does this to enemies.
* MontyHaul: The amount of treasure behind the sealed doors in Dreadfell and the guaranteed gigantic equipment stash in the Vor Armoury mean that you seriously won't have to upgrade your equipment ever again. If, that is, you can put up with the ultra-powerful goons in there, seeing how these are the equivalent of ''Angband''[='s=] greater vaults.
* MoreDakka: Temporal Wardens can pull off an archery-based version of this with combination of Speed Control, Arrow Stitching, Arrow Echoes, and Warden's Call. It's easy to have multiple arrows in the air at the same time.
* MultipleEndings: [[spoiler:Upon defeating the BigBadDuumvirate, you will have multiple choices on what to do with their evil portal. If you were able to interrupt the ritual at the Charred Scar, that's that, but if they were able to finish that ritual, you will be forced to choose whether Aeryn or yourself performs a HeroicSacrifice to close it. Also, if your character is a Yeek, you have an additional option to sacrifice yourself to use the portal to forcefully convert the rest of the world to [[HiveMind The Way]]. Later versions of the game add a second ending option for Yeek characters, where you succeed in stopping the Sorcerers' ritual at the Charred Scar, and at the end allow yourself to be killed by Aeryn [[HeroicSacrifice to prevent The Way from taking over the world]].]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Unlocking the [[spoiler:doomelf]] race requires [[spoiler:killing the only three demons who have been on Eyal since before the Spellblaze]], effectively eliminating any chance of the demons learning that their planet's destruction was largely an accident, and that in any case only the Shaloren were at fault for it. Maybe not a bad idea if you're a Shalore, but otherwise...
** Given that one of them explicitly states that she doesn't care about that, and the others are MIA, it wouldn't help.
* NotUsingTheZWord: Most fantasy worlds give necromancers zombies and skeletons for their [[WeHaveReserves expendable goons]]. Here, it's ''ghouls'' and skeletons. [[JustifiedTrope Probably justified]] on account of ghouls being known for their endless hunger for humanoid flesh; that's not something voodoo zombies (i.e. the ''source'' of the word "zombie") were known for, but very much so for the original ghuls of Arabian and Persian lore, even if they were demons rather than undead.
* OmnicidalManiac: [[spoiler:[[BigBadDuumvirate Elandar and Argoniel]] are trying to use the [[ArtifactOfDoom Staff of Absorption]] to summon Gerlyk back, in hopes that he'll destroy the hopelessly strife-addled world and rebuild it in a better, not-nearly-as-strife-prone form.]]
* OneBadMother: [[spoiler: Tragic example in the Orc Breeding Pit. After the Orc Pride was nearly obliterated at the close of the Age of Pyre, the last remaining orcish medical sciences expert came up with the idea of turning a good chunk of the remaining orcish women into comatose baby generators. Which involved imbuing them with blight-corrupted blood, causing them to generate ''multiple'' generative/sexual organs, and produce and bear young at a frankly ridiculous rate. When the clinician put one of the Orc Mothers out of her coma to check on her mental situation, her sheer agony, from both her [[BodyHorror monstrified form]] and the pain of the new generative organs squashing up all her ''other'' organs, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone brought home the enormity of the act to him]], and he was DrivenToSuicide. The military captain who came to check up on him, sadly, failed to understand what had horrified him--the plan was an astounding success for the Pride, after all. And as for the Mothers' pain...well, [[AndIMustScream a doping infusion should fix that, right?]]]]
* OneStatToRuleThemAll: Willpower for Solipsists. Willpower is used to determine mindpower, maximum psi capacity, and mental save. All Solipsist talents have their effectiveness keyed to mindpower, the Solipsism talent lets them absorb damage to psi, and another talent lets them use mental save in place of physical or spell saves.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: ''Ashes of Uh'rok'' reveals that the Demons were once peaceful and enlightened aliens, but were intimidated by the Sher'tul into depowering their god, allowing the Sher'tul to place portals on their planet for trade... which worked out pretty decently until the Spellblaze turned the portals into [[EarthShatteringKaboom magical bombs]], turning their home of Mal'Rok into a [[FireAndBrimstoneHell charred, shattered wasteland]]. Ever since, the Demons have been obsessed on taking revenge on not just the Sher'tul (believing the accident to have been deliberate betrayal), but anyone they suspect of carrying their "taint", which unfortunately for you includes all the mortal races.
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Pretty much. One quirk, however, is that the dwarven kingdom (the Iron Throne) is one of the rare factions that openly uses both natural and arcane magic equally, and the only class to wield both is the Dwarven Stone Warden.
* OurElvesAreBetter: They come in High Elf (Shaloren) and Wood Elf (Thaloren) varieties, but only the Rhaloren (Shaloren renegades) actually act like they're better. The rest of the Shaloren mostly try to keep their heads down to avoid another crusade.
* OurOgresAreHungrier: Ogres in Maj'Eyal [[spoiler:were created by the Conclave's [[StateSec Overseers]] to serve as [[SuperSoldier soldiers]] and laborers by way of loading conventional Humans up with a combination of runic and natural energies]], and are accordingly enormously strong and unconcerned with most higher intellectual pursuits. This doesn't mean they're ''dumb''; they're more than capable of mastering the runic magic they're dependent on to live, and in general can do scholarly tasks if they ''have'' to, but would rather solve their problems through tried-and-true methods like brute force. They've gotten along very well with the Shaloren elves, having taken refuge with them to avoid extermination during the [[BurnTheWitch Spellhunt]], but are only recently starting to come back from the brink of extinction.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: Maj'Eyal's Orcs are essentially Tolkienian, though they're of human intelligence and very capable with magic (in particular, BloodMagic was an orcish invention). They're believed to have been wiped out in the Age of Pyre, but survivors occasionally pop up from time to time in Maj'Eyal. [[spoiler: They actually control most of the Far East, and have also seized the Dwarven citadel of Reknor in Maj'Eyal.]]
* OxygenatedUnderwaterBubbles: There are a few underwater levels with stationary (and depleteable) bubbles that you have to travel between to avoid suffocation if you don't have a way to just breathe water outright.
* PetTheDog: One piece of lore details how the Ziguranth once saved the life of an Alchemist accused of poisoning her town's elder.
** Through all the demons' horrific alteration projects and sadistic tortures, there's one they seem to genuinely regret: turning dollegs, once a sort of cross between a golden retriever and a pack mule, into ruthless killing machines. "Of all the sacrifices we've had to make for our war, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone it may be the loss of our gentle companions that troubles us the most.]]"
* PlagueMaster: Reavers and Corruptors can develop a set of disease talents which inflict damage over time and stat debuffs.
* PlayingWithSyringes: A sign of sufficiently advanced magical study is that mages start doing this. Angolwen is pretty much the only exception, and they don't use the widespread {{Magitek}} of older civilizations either.
** [[spoiler: Tannen of Last Hope is experimenting on [[DisposableVagrant Disposable Vagrants]] and the Sher'Tul farportals.]]
** [[spoiler: The Orc Broodmothers were created by a desperate orcish scientist trying to stave off extinction.]]
** [[spoiler: In the Age of Allure, this was nearly universal. Both the Nargol Empire and the Conclave experimented on humans and other races, along with other delving into magics that they really shouldn't, and each group created a new race from humans. Nargol experimental subjects became the Higher, while the Conclave's laborers and [[SuperSoldier Super Soldiers]] were [[OurOgresAreHungrier Ogres]].]]
** [[spoiler: Doomelves are what you get when the demons get to play with Shaloren.]]
* PoorCommunicationKills: The Ogres in [[spoiler: the Conclave Vault simply start attacking when they realize that you aren't Conclave. They aren't automata, either, so if even one of them had retained enough brain capacity to talk to you for two minutes, there would have been no reason to fight.]]
* ThePowerOfHate: Afflicted run off of it.
* ProtectionMission: Unlocking the yeek race; you have to defeat Subject Z ([[FantasticRacism but not as a halfling]]) without letting the Yeek Wayist die. ''Then'' you have to do this as a yeek to unlock the mindslayer class.
* ProudWarriorRace: Halflings are an example of the soldier variation. Not only were they the first post-Sher'tul race to establish an empire (through armies as much as through sorcery and science), but they also retain their methodical and militaristic instincts even in the modern day, when most are simply peasant farmers.
* PsychicPowers: Available to [[MagicKnight Mindslayers]] and [[RealityWarper Solipsists]], though the two classes use completely different ability sets.
* [[spoiler:RageAgainstTheHeavens: During the Age of Haze, the Sher'tul went on a crusade against the gods to put an end to their selfish manipulation of mortal life. One of the hunters and his current quarry ''[[SealedEvilInADuel are still at it]]'', in the form of the Infinite Dungeon--the trickster god in question keeps creating new dungeon levels to delay the hunter, [[TheDeterminator who keeps slicing through the goons and traps]].]]
** [[spoiler: Then again, according to WordOfGod, the ''real'' reason most of the Sher'tul decided to go on a deicide spree was that, being the creations of Amakthel, they had a measure of his dominant personality traits. Namely, pride, arrogance, powerlust, and a general unwillingness to have ''any'' peers or superiors, only subjects. The ''only'' divinity they spared was a sea goddess who had no interest in terrestrial dominion. Note: [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters She's not Amakthel]].]]
** [[spoiler: They also spared Urh'Rok, in the sense that they let the demons seal him. Note that he didn't even have any interest in Eyal - they had to go looking for him.]]
* QuirkyBard: Paradox Mages' abilities are ''weird'', and no other class can match them in controlling the battlefield or performing trick plays. But their defenses are subpar, their escape abilities limited, and while they can do decent damage when they finally attack, their attack spells won't carry the game for them. Players can and have won with them, but they're not an easy class to win with.
* RandomlyGeneratedLoot: So very, very much.
** Taken to a whole level with The Wondrous Emporium in Last Hope. If you save the shopkeeper in an early optional quest, then get to Far East and back, and then pay a hefty sum in gold, the shopkeeper will create a randomly generated item of the basic type of your choice (axe, gloves, armour, slingshot, you name it). This item is always top-tier and, unless the RNG is really generous later, one of the best items of its type you'll find in one game. The gold price is really high though - in most games, you can afford no more than two such items throughout the whole game.
* TheRedMage: Anorithils. They use both light and darkness-based celestial magic, giving them amazing healing and defensive capabilities along with nuclear-level attack capabilities once they get going. They have a very simple playstyle (barrier of light, blasts of darkness, heal when weak), but suffer from a lack of utility powers or trickery.
* RegeneratingMana: The game has a number of different resources. Stamina and psi points always regenerate on their own, albeit slowly. Mana points, however, only regenerate naturally for certain classes; otherwise, you need to get [[RandomlyDrops lucky with equipment drops]] or rely on the LevelUpFillUp. The other resources don't regenerate; you have to fulfill their particular esoteric requirements to get more of them.
* TheRemnant: [[spoiler: The Conclave Vault is filled with loyal personnel who, having been in stasis and sealed underground, never got the memo that the war ended thousands of years ago, and the Conclave doesn't really exist anymore.]]
* RisingEmpire: The Allied Kingdoms. Ever since the Orcs were rendered extinct in Maj'Eyal, and the human and halfling kingdoms united under Toknor and Mirvenia, the Allied Kingdoms have been rebuilding from the Age of Pyre, [[AdventurerArchaeologist exploring the ruins of the past]], and rediscovering the power of magic.
* TheSacredDarkness: The Negative energy that the Anorithil wield [[YinYangBomb along with Positive]].
* ScrewYouElves: The Shaloren Elves suffered a ''massive'' drop in popularity after the Spellblaze. The Thaloren Elves are more tolerated due to their preference to nature over magic, but most of the other races are still suspicious of them.
* SerialKiller: The Cursed in a nutshell. For the most part (like the one slaughtering lumberjacks, who you have to stop in order to play Cursed yourself), they're Hedonistic-thrill. Presumably, your Cursed are either instead or additionally Mission Based.
* SchmuckBait: Go ahead, give [[spoiler:the Master's staff]] to the Apprentice Mage and see what happens.
* ShoutOut: The endgame quest is named [[BabylonFive Falling Toward Apotheosis]]
* SquareRaceRoundClass:
** The randomly-generated rare enemies get talents from a random class. This can result in things like an eel being a deadly archer or a slime blob pummeling you with Brawler talents.
** You yourself can play class combinations that make no sense from a lore perspective. For example, a Halfling Celestial is a valid PC, even though before the events of the game, Celestial magic was restricted to the Sunwall (whose population is composed solely of humans and elves).
* SquishyWizard: Played with. In general, every spellcasting class has ways of averting this, and any successful player will go out of their way to do this. In the early game, or without taking advantage of your defenses, wizard classes do tend to fit this. And shields or not, nothing's going to keep a [[GlassCannon Yeek Archmage]] or [[QuirkyBard Paradox Mage]] from fitting this trope.
* StableTimeLoop: [[spoiler:The Temporal Rift in the Daikara was formed by your Temporal Warden PC being killed by your future self. [[TimeyWimeyBall Or something]].]]
* StoryBreadcrumbs: Lots, mostly journal entries. They rarely end well.
* SufferTheSlings:
** Prior to 1.2.0 Archers could choose to concentrate on sling talents. You lose some of the AOE talents of bow archers, but gain some extra control in the form of Eye Shot (which blinds an opponent) and Inertial Shot (a handy knockback). Slings use Cunning for their damage instead of Strength, and therefore can be especially useful for Halflings or Yeeks.
** 1.2.0 added Skirmishers, who use slings in tandem with shields. Slings use Cunning for their damage instead of Strength, and therefore can be especially useful for Halflings or Yeeks.
* SurroundedByIdiots: If the signs are anything to go by, the Master of Dreadfell feels like this a lot.
* TeleportSpam: Paradox Mages can engage in this, including moving their opponents around with Banish and Wormhole.
* ThePowerOfHate: The source of the abilities of Cursed and Doomed characters. If you're Cursed, your hatred oozes out of you in a constant debuffing cloud. For Doomed characters, their hateful mind lashes out at their enemies.
* TimeCrash:
** The result of a Paradox malfunction. If you build up too much Paradox and use a temporal effect, weird and unpredictable stuff can happen.
** How one unlocks Paradox Mages in the first place. If you're playing a Temporal Warden and explore the Daikara, you encounter your future self and have to fight him. [[spoiler: You unlock the class by ''being killed by your future self''. The event nullifies itself, kills your future self, and [[TimeCrash creates a temporal rift]] as the universe [[RealityBreakingParadox divides by zero]].]]
* TimeMaster: Time Wardens and Paradox Mages. Abilities include the typical "speed up, slow down, and stop creatures" but also some stranger ones like HelpYourselfInTheFuture and RetGone.
* TimeyWimeyBall: Paradox Mages' powers don't even obey the rules of sanity, let alone causality. For example, one spell lets you [[HelpYourselfInTheFuture call a future self of yours back in time to help you]], and the future self can be killed without affecting you...and at the end of the spell, ''you're'' pulled back in time, and you can let your past self be killed, and that ''also'' doesn't affect you. And yes, both your future self and past self can die in the same casting of the spell, while you continue to exist.
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: The writer of the necromancer primer anticipates this to happen to the would-be rulers of the Blighted Ruins. If you play a ghoul or skeleton, you actually bring it about -- you start out inside a broken summoning circle with a terrified (but hostile) necromancer shouting orders at you, and it all goes downhill from there.
* TurnsRed: The Rat Lich, boss of the Forsaken Crypt BonusDungeon. Once you kill it once, it immediately resurrects with double health, the ability to summon an infinite amount of rat minions, and tons of high level spells.
* UnlockableContent: Most classes and a few races start out locked, and must be unlocked by completing in-game achievements. This is for three reasons: to avoid an InterfaceSpoiler before players have learned enough of the game's lore[[note]]For example, the fact that mages still exist is kind of a secret in-universe, so the Archmage class is locked until you discover Angolwen[[/note]], to [[EarnYourFun provide a sense of accomplishment to players who unlock them]], and most importantly, to keep new players from being overwhelmed by the sheer variety of possible race/class combinations, each of which plays completely differently.
* {{Unwinnable}}: This can happen if you [[spoiler:kill Aerwyn the Sun Paladin before she tells you about the slime tunnel. You need to go through the tunnel in order to reach the final dungeon.]]
** If you do the following, the special quest where there's an electric storm cloud above Derth becomes impossible to finish.
### Pick up the quest.
### Get Antimagic at Zigur, so you can't get help from Angolwen to dispel the cloud.
### Kill their leader, so you can't get help from Zigur to dispel the cloud.
### Complain that it's impossible.
* VillainousValor: In the Ashes of Urh'Rok expansion, [[spoiler: the first Quasit Squad Leader you encounter intends to hold the line against what he knows to be an impossible fight, buying time until his allies can cut off the portals and oxygen to the platform you're both on, condemning both of you to suffocation so you can't cause any more damage. It's almost a shame you [[KilledMidSentence get to him]] before he can finish writing his order for a courier.]] Demons in general are prone to self-sacrifice for the good of their comrades; Lithfengel subjected himself to an unsafe experiment to spare any other test subjects from the [[BodyHorror consequences of failure]], and Wretchlings fully embrace their role as expendable distractions.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Ziguranth seek to protect the world from the dangers of magic (and they have a point, since reckless use of magic led to [[AndManGrewProud the Spellblaze]]), but they are ''very'' indiscriminate in who they attack. The Rhaloren seek to end the oppression and bigotry that the Shaloren have suffered since the Spellblaze...by subjugating the rest of the races.
** [[spoiler:Tannen]] is another, seeking to run all sorts of [[PlayingWithSyringes unethical]] [[TestedOnHumans experiments]] with the full knowledge that his peers and society at large wouldn't approve; his justification is that adherence to experimental ethics prevented study of [[spoiler:the Sher'Tul farportals, contributing to the Spellblaze]], and ''someone'' needs to catalogue the [[ForScience risks, hazards, and applications]] of taboo subjects before desperation pushes someone to toying with them anyway. [[spoiler:The problems arise with his [[DisposableVagrant guiltless abduction of new test subjects]], and when the hero's existence threatens to cut off his funding, jeopardizing his experiments...]] If that's not enough, [[spoiler:he got the demon's help to try to reconstruct farportal, thinking he can use the demons to his end, but it end up being reverse: the demons are using him to study how the portal works so that they can make one to fully invade the world]].
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Apparently, this happens a ''lot'' to mages who practice [[PsychoElectro lots and lots of Lightning magic]]. Exhibit A: Urkis.
* WorthlessYellowRocks: The [[spoiler:Sher'tul fortress]] needs to be powered up by dumping objects in its reactor core. This produces useless gold as an undesirable byproduct, and is thus given to you to dispose of as you see fit.
* YinYangBomb: The Anorithil use both Positive and Negative energy.

!!The ''Embers of Rage'' DLC provides examples of:

* AbusivePrecursors / BenevolentPrecursors: Strictly speaking, the [[spoiler: Weissi]] are nothing but helpful to you, and wholeheartedly share your goal of liberating the Orcs [[spoiler: and stopping Amakthel's rebirth]]. They're also ''very'' clear that this is only because [[spoiler: they intend to return someday, and to secure their existence by dividing the planet into feuding factions, ending in a massive war which will leave its only survivor weak enough for them to defeat. The Orcs just happen to be one of those factions, which would have otherwise been absorbed into a larger, more formidable nation.]]
* AndIMustScream: [[spoiler: The Weissi carry out their plans through psychic precognition that is so potent and detailed it is essentially the same as experiencing the events. Meaning they have lived through every timeline in which they were exterminated and felt exactly how much the universe wants to erase them. Small wonder they've gone a little bent.]]
* AntimagicalFaction: The Menders are mentioned as having taken the place of the Ziguranth, as Zigur was destroyed after the last game after the Ziguranth started resorting to terrorism against the Allied Kingdoms. Unlike the Ziguranth, their methodology is to promote natural alternatives to arcane magic, possibly even developing a synthesis between magic and nature that won't harm Eyal or risk another Spellblaze, and otherwise to act as a lobbying group for nature. [[spoiler: They've also developed some pretty fine natural drugs for sale.]]
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: The Chief Councillor of the Steam Giants isn't directly elected; the voters choose the competition that the candidates will participate in to decide the Chief. Chief Councillor Tantalos was elected by a contest of fisticuffs. His opposing candidate didn't campaign, but one group campaigned for a Tabletop Wargaming platform. This is generally a negative portrayal and a perversion of how the Atmos Tribe's elections were supposed to go.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The Steam Giants' Councillors are, one and all, Elite Bosses who are even stronger than Aeryn.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: There's a reason you're repeatedly warned that [[CloudCuckooLander Nektosh the One-Horned]], an [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot undead minotaur who thinks he's part-unicorn]], has a [[WaveMotionGun beam spell]] that tends to blow holes through mountains. It's the most powerful attack in the game [[spoiler: on its first shot]], dealing an [[OneHitKill utterly unsurvivable]] amount of damage (barring a few edge cases). [[spoiler:Unsurprising, considering he stuck a [[LostTechnology Sher'Tul death-wand]] in his horn...]]
* BonusBoss: Maltoth the Mad, [[spoiler: a time-shifted [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo possible version of the Scourge from the West]].]]
* BoomerangBigot: [[spoiler: The High Priest of Amakthel hates all Sher'Tul, including himself, for the crime of turning against their god. He fully expects - even wants - Amakthel to destroy him for the sins of his people. Interestingly, it's unclear whether Amakthel shares his opinion, as the reawakening god helps him out to the limit of His ability in the final battle.]]
* ChainsawGood: Sawbutchers use steam-powered circular saws in battle, often heating them red-hot for extra damage.
* ClimaxBoss: Aeryn the Sun Paladin, ruler of the Sunwall and arch-enemy of the orcs. [[spoiler: After she bites it, the Steam Giant Chief Councilor panics and rushes off to the Loyalist.]]
* CuttingOffTheBranches:
** [[spoiler:Aeryn's status as a story boss means she canonically survived the final battle of the main campaign.]]
** Zigur survived the main campaign, though it was destroyed afterwards because the Ziguranth couldn't tolerate the alliance between the Allied Kingdoms and the Sunwall.
** Averted in the time pocket. [[spoiler: When you fight Maltoth the Mad, [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo the Hero of Maj'Eyal and Scourge from the West]], you're fighting a character from a possible universe and ''not'' necessarily the actual Scourge from your world's past.]]
* {{Cyborg}}: Instead of infusions or runes, steamtech uses implants; steam generators and medical injectors are implanted into the user's body. An implanted generator is necessary to use steam power, so all Tinkers qualify as this.
* CycleOfRevenge: Orcs and every other race in Eyal have been fighting genocidal wars against each other for Ages. Since the main campaign ended in the near-annihilation of the Orc race, this iteration involves an Orcish war of extermination against the Sunwall. Many fragments of lore from the human side claim that they wanted to make peace with the surviving orcs after that, and to forgive the orcs for the past, but their actions suggest otherwise.
* FantasyGunControl: Averted by Gunslingers and Psyshots, though this technology is canonically limited to the Atmos Tribe and the Kruk Pride. Gunpowder doesn't seem to exist, however - steamguns use steam pressure to shoot sling bullets.
* FinalSolution: Humans' policy towards orcs is either an internment camp under psychic domination, or extermination. They're trying the former as a more merciful option than the latter, now that most of orc-kind has been wiped out.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Steam technology is unknown in Maj'Eyal proper. Tinker characters can nonetheless be unlocked for the Age of Ascendancy campaign; this option is "not lore-canonical, but fun!" Likewise, tinkers can appear as escorts in Maj'Eyal, and you can learn their abilities (which in turn causes tech items to become available in the main campaign for that playthrough).
* GeniusBruiser: The Steam Giants are supposed to be a race of these; a highly-advanced and intelligent race of giants. Their leader...doesn't really live up to the ideal; he's a combination of a brutish thug, a SmugSnake and an UpperClassTwit.
* GrayAndGreyMorality: The Kruk Pride is fighting for the survival of their species. To ensure ''their'' survival, they're willing to wipe out humanity across Var'Eyal. Meanwhile, the Sunwall have attempted to put all surviving orcs in internment camps under mind control, because the alternative is to deal with vengeful orcs trying to wipe them out for the Scourge's destruction of the Prides. [[spoiler:It becomes BlackAndGreyMorality once the Sher'tul enter the picture.]]
* GunsAkimbo: Gunslingers use paired steamguns in battle.
* HeroAntagonist:
** Haze Commander Parmor, general of the Steam Giants, is a decent person who is just trying to save her people from the disastrous consequences of Tantalos' attack on the Kruk Pride. She also despises the Chief Councilor, and refuses to waste any parts on repairing his teapot.
** Aeryn, leader of the Sun Paladins, helped save the world in the last game. Now she's defending her people - problem is, ''your'' people are her people's hereditary enemies, and you've been committing genocide against each other for Ages.
* {{Hypocrite}}: The Steam Giants turned against Kruk's Pride because the orcs used their steam-tech as a weapon. The majority of Steam Giants use steam weapons. This is taken to cartoonish levels when you consider the fact that the orcs adapted this weaponry out of sheer self-defense, when the Atmos Tribe refused to help defend them against another orc army's invasion. [[spoiler: Actually, the motivation is that Chief Councilor Tantalos wants the steam vents underneath the Pride's current location and doesn't care to negotiate with the orcs.]]
* ItemCrafting: Tinkers do this a lot, turning monster bits, gems and scraps of metal into new devices.
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope: Bits of lore reveal that the Ziguranth, already extreme {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s, did ''not'' take the Allied Kingdoms' alliance with the very much magical Sun Paladins well.
* MoralMyopia: King Tolak of the Allied Kingdoms claims that he tried to show mercy to the orcs and that your retaliation against the Sunwall is a sign that orcs feel nothing but a lust for death and destruction. Given that the Scourge from the West nearly wiped the race out, and that he's been supporting the use of internment camps, he's got very little room to talk - you can't unilaterally break a CycleOfRevenge when ''you'' dealt the last blow.
* NoBloodForPhlebotinum: [[spoiler: The Atmos Tribe are attacking Kruk's Pride in an attempt to take control of the steam vents under the Pride's territory.]]
* NoFourthWall: [[spoiler: The Pocket of Distorted Time has the Eidolon acting as AuthorAvatar and chatting about its role as a storyteller, and examining the possible CharacterCustomization and possible events available to the Hero of Maj'Eyal from the previous game.]]
* NoKillLikeOverkill: Kaltor's finest creation, '''''DESTRUCTICUS, IMPOLITE PENETRATOR OF THE SKY''''', is designed as the ultimate luxury purchase for an upper-class society with a macho streak, and is specifically noted as being able to destroy "golems smaller than a medium-sized village." [[spoiler: When you find it in the epilogue, the "merciful" option involves launching it at ''a single imp.'']]
* OhCrap: Councilor Tantalos completely panics after the PC [[spoiler: annihilates the Sunwall and kills Aeryn]], and runs off to [[spoiler: beg help from the Loyalist]].
* PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo: [[spoiler: You can meet a possible version of the Scourge from the West, the hero of the Age of Ascendancy campaign, in a pocket of distorted time, courtesy of the author bending the fourth wall to bring your legend and that of the Hero of Maj'Eyal together. CuttingOffTheBranches is averted; while Maltoth the Mad is a defined character, the Eidolon makes it clear that there ''is'' no canonical Hero of Maj'Eyal, since the story can be retold an infinite number of times.]]
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: King Tolak's Condemnation is one by letter, where he delivers his statement that he had tried to show mercy to the orcs, but that all that exists in the orc heart is rage and death. He further urges the PC to come and challenge the armies of the Allied Kingdoms. (You have other things to do, however.)
* SequenceBreaking: Aside from such things as [[BeefGate your level]], there's nothing forcing you to actually go ahead and pick a fight with the Sunwall. [[spoiler: However, if you defeat the Atmos Tribe without challenging the Sunwall, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation the game won't recognize it]]: Councilor Tantalos will still be an abomination, the Loyalist will still be on his way to restoring Amakthel and the ending will talk about how you slaughtered the humans of the Sunwall.]]
* SmugSnake: Councilor Tantalos combines the worst parts of slimy politician and would-be dictator, and doesn't mind mocking his rival councilor's bruises after beating him up in a contest. [[spoiler: And that's ''before'' he rushes off to the Loyalist and becomes an abomination.]]
* SteamPunk: Atmos Tribe technology (and by extension that of the Kruk Pride) runs on steam. Spinning sawblades and steam-powered guns are the most common weapons, and steam in general is another power source much like psionics, nature and magic.
* UnPerson: [[spoiler: Something is doing this to the Weissi, most likely an exceptionally thorough bad-luck curse; however, their psychic precognition makes them precisely aware of the curse's limits, allowing them to set plans in place to recreate themselves through [[InMysteriousWays layers upon layers of indirect intervention]]. If this doesn't work, their Plan B is to spread as much evidence of their existence around the universe as possible, in hopes that [[TakingYouWithMe the reality that's so insistent on destroying them will destroy itself in the process]].]]
* UpperClassTwit: Tantalos insists on having his steam-powered teapot functional at all costs, even on a trip to the center of the Earth.
* WasOnceAMan: [[spoiler: Tantalos the Abomination and the sher'tan were once Steam Giants, now transformed by the Sher'Tul High Priest into monstrous creatures.]]
* YetAnotherStupidDeath: The achievement "We Weren't Kidding!" is awarded for dying to Nektosh the One-Horned's [[CrosshairAware extremely obvious]] OneHitKill. What pushes this into YASD territory is that the achievement is ''only'' awarded if you had no movement-or-control-impairing debuffs on you, meaning you stood in the brightly-colored targeting path for several turns of your own free will.

!!Tales Of Middle Earth (TOME 1 / 2 / 3) provides examples of:
* AntiGrinding: Completely averted. Want to spend a few decades loitering around at the bottom of the Sandworm Lair, looking for potions that will get you additional stats and spellbooks that you ''need'' for progression? Not only allowed, but encouraged. You do have a time limit in the name of food et all, but this is averted due to the ease of teleporting in and out of dungeons.
* BonusDungeon: Several. Only a few dungeons are actually required for the main game, the rest are optional but have bosses with set drops of varying use. Playing the trope more straight is [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast The Void]], a huge dungeon with enemies that are scaled (somewhat unfairly) to your own level, and with ''no air'' -- finding an item that makes it so you don't need to breathe is a major part of the early postgame.
* EscapedFromHell: Playing as a Lost Soul, one has to fight their way from the Halls of the Dead. It's...very unlikely that you succeed, but if you do, you'll be WELL on your way to leveling up enough to beat the game.
* ExcusePlot: Averted. The 2.X series follows the Tolkien worldverse somewhat closely, having the character go through the quest of the ring, ultimately destroying it on Mt. Doom -- or dooming the world by putting it on[[note]]Who did you think you were? Bilbo? It instantly corrupts you if you as so much as touch it once[[/note]]. There's a PlayableEpilogue after destroying the ring that involves you finding your way into the BonusDungeon to kill Mograth's soul itself.
* FinalDeath: There is a rare one shot item called the Blood of Life that will bring you back to life -- once -- if you die; and ultra-high level Necromancy can do this, but other than that, once you die, you're dead.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: A combat option for Loremasters. Monks specialize in it, but Loremasters and Possessors can do it as well. Gives bonuses to dodging as long as you avoid heavy armor, but also scales very well and avoids the problems (and benefits) of weapons. In addition, Possessor forms such as, say, Dragons are technically unarmed, meaning that a Possessor with Barehand Combat skill an fight just as well in Dragon Form as Humanoid Form.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Played with. Wizards die a LOT early on, whereas Warriors... die a LOT early on. Both can get to very respectable levels of power, but Warriors are far more reliant on items. Meanwhile, a Wizard that loses his or her spellbook... [[OhCrap ugh.]] [[GameBreaker Summoners, on the other hand...]]
* LostForever: By default off, but you can disable the system that protects unidentified artifacts from being lost, causing them to be lost forever if you leave a dungeon floor with them on (the tradeoff is that you are told, ''explicitly'', that an artifact exists on a floor you enter). In addition, any artifact that is [=IDed=] and later lost is lost for good, even with this option on.
* MythologyGag / GeniusBonus: Lots. Tolkien fans will recognize a ''lot'' of the true artifacts in the game.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Part of the charm of the 2.X series -- the sheer number of class / race / subrace / skillpoint build combinations are nearly endless. Some are incredibly powerful. Some... aren't.
* RandomlyGeneratedLevels: Everything not a town or special level. Dungeons do have themes, however -- for example, the Orc Caves are, well, caves; the Sandworm Lair is a long twisty dungeon of nothing but sand (easily dug through). The "Ironman" option changes the engine to always generate "interesting" rooms -- interesting as defined by special rooms filled with instant death.
* RandomlyDrops: Very very random, although traditionally the best loot is found either on the floor of vaults or on Dragons (which can be scummed from Quylthulgs later in the game). "[=RandArts=]", randomly generated artifacts, are also worth a mention, as they can be based on any basic item in the game and have a rather large number of stats.
* WarpWhistle: Scrolls of Word of Recall, as well as the various spell versions. ''Required'' for any dungeon dive past a few floors. Bring extras, cause they're not fireproof. (Unless they are.)
* YetAnotherStupidDeath: Lots. Getting paralyzed by an eye is one of the top early ones, however, leaving you to slowly starve to death as the eye paralyzes you over and over again. Later on, anything that uses water attacks -- as there is no water resistance in the game.

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