- They are men (and occasional women) of action, larger than life and fighting evil through pure strength of will until their final breath.
- In some way or another the protagonists are outsiders, not having a real place in society even when among their own people. Quite often they are The Drifter and Walking the Earth.
- They are ultimately motivated by self-interest, offering their martial skills either for money, fun, or because doing so benefits them in another way.
Common tropes in Sword & Sorcery:
- Ambition Is Evil
- Barbarian Hero
- Black and Gray Morality
- The Dark Arts
- Deliberate Values Dissonance
- Eldritch Abomination
- Eldritch Location
- Evil Sorcerer
- Good Is Not Nice
- Human Sacrifice
- Humans Are Bastards
- Magic Is Evil
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Rated M for Manly
- War Is Glorious
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Berserk, particularly in the Black Swordsman arc at the start of the story.
- Conan the Barbarian
- Red Sonja.
- The Tales of the Jedi series is quite different in style from most Star Wars stories and has very stong allusions to Sword & Sorcery, being set 5,000 to 4,000 years before the rest of the Expanded Universe. Being the stories of the ancient Sith, it's full of demonic looking evil sorcerers, their huge palaces and temples, and alchemy.
- The 13th Warrior plays close to the genre, but eventually subverts it. All the magic and monsters turn out to be simply intimidation tactics by the savage warriors.
- Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer
- Hawk the Slayer
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Aside from the unusual setting, the movies match the genre perfectly.
- Red Sonja
- The Scorpion King
- The Death Stalker movies are classic examples of '80s grindhouse sword and sorcery.
- Beast Master
- Beowulf, as well as its many adaptations.
- Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Kull and Bran Mak Morn.
- Michael Moorcock's The Elric Saga.
- Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
- Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore.
- Kane by Karl Edward Wagner.
- Sword Sisters set in the Red Reaper universe and published by Ragnarok Publications takes place in one such world.
- The Ties That Bind by Rob J. Hayes is set in a spectacularly grim and gritty world where the world's second best swordsman has to deal with a lot of trouble from her male rivals. Thankfully, she has help.
- The Witcher: Monster hunter Geralt travels the land, killing monsters and lifting curses for coin, using swords, alchemy, and magic.
- Tales of the Black Raven by Seth Skorkowsky is a collection of stories about a master thief in a world of tombs, corrupt city-states, evil magic, and femme fatales.
- The Eddie LaCrosse series is sometimes placed in this sub-genre, although it's sometimes closer to Low Fantasy than other works called sword-and-sorcery (depending a bit on exactly which book you look at).
- The Testament Of Tall Eagle by John R. Fultz is a Tribal Fantasy about a Fantasy Counterpart Culture for the Comanche dealing with Cthulhuoid monstrosities and Human Aliens threatening their land.
Live Action TV
- Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea, a retro-clone of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
- Atlantis: The Second Age, which awards experience depending on how heroically you slay your enemies and revolves heavily around mechanics that require you to do outrageous and badass things the whole time.
- Barbarians of Lemuria.
- There have been plenty of Conan RPGs over the years, with another one currently in work by Modiphius Entertainment.
- The Dark Sun setting specifically aims to emulate old pulp stories and is heavily influenced by John Carter of Mars, as well as Conan the Barbarian.
- As does On Mighty Thews, which even comes with a list of substitutions to make things more pulpy.
- Primeval Thule is a campaign setting set in the world of Robert Howard's Conan the Barbarian and Kull, but taking place in a time between them, on the tropical continent of Greenland.
- Age of Conan, obviously.
- Bound by Flame: Even though the goal of the protagonist is to prevent the destruction of what little is left of the world, Vulcan keeps fighting the Ice Lords mostly out of self-preservation, rather than saving the world.
- Diablo: The first game more than the second and third, which grew more into Epic Fantasy.
- Ecstatica: A traveller stumbles into a town ravaged by eldritch beasts, and must fight their way out using swords and magic.
- God of War is epic in scale and revolves around a war of the gods, but Kratos is really only out for revenge and nothing else, simply not caring for the cataclysmic destruction following in his wake.
- Heavenly Sword: A young warrior claims an ancient magical sword to rescue her father from the evil sorcerer and his monstrous henchmen, even though the spirits of the weapon are likely to doom her.
- Icewind Dale: A group of mercenaries sets out to fiend the power behind the monsters and unnatural winter coming from the mountains.
- Legacy of Kain: While lots of people are trying to convince him to fulfill his destiny and restore balance to the world, Kain really is only after personal power and revenge against those who got in his way. Raziel is somewhat more noble, but also mostly motivated by getting back at those who wronged him.
- The Witcher video game series (also includes Assassins of Kings and Wild Hunt, much like the books they are based on: A lone monster hunter hunting a sorcerer who stole the alchemical secrets from the witchers.