Quicksand Sucks: Subverted in the "Diamond in the Rough" quest when you and Ozan find what appears to be quicksand. Ozan explains the correct way to escape from quicksand... only to find it isn't really quicksand when neither he nor you can move, as it is actually just a deep sand pit.
In one of the Temple Trekking/Burgh de Rott minigame puzzles, the player is required to cross a bog using a stick to poke at the ground to determine where the firm bits are. Stepping elsewhere results in sinking and having to start over.
The Quisling: Gadderanks, a human who collects blood tithes for the vampires. He eventually decides to give the player a hand near the end of his life.
Rage Against the Heavens: The cave goblins' questline runs on this trope. Justified somewhat in that the cave goblins' former god falls somewhere between Blood Knight and God of Evil, although all of the other gods take a PR drubbing as well.
You can equip any combination of clothes you want. ANY. Keep in mind that the equipment in this game ranges from blue armor to magenta robes to mime costumes and everything in between.
The Infinity mage robes play this trope very straight.
Raising the Steaks: Zombie cows, skeleton cows, zombie chickens, zombie monkeys, skeleton monkeys, ghost monkeys, zombie parrots... subverted with corpse spiders, which are not undead spiders, but spider-shaped monsters made of human corpses.
Subverted. A red herring is crucial to solving a puzzle in the Fremenik Trials quest. Then again, it also turns out to be a regular herring covered in some kind of dye. Zig-Zagging Trope?
The diary found during the Rune Memories quest is written in a way to deceive players into thinking that Kelevan the Red Wizard Apprentice sabotaged the original transportation ritual to destroy the Old Wizards' Tower. However, it is actually the diary of Ellaron, detailing his plans to destroy the current tower.
Religion is Magic : Buffs come from prayers. And yes, they're called that. One adds deities to their pantheon to get new ones.
Remember the New Guy: The "Signature Heroes" are this to any player who was around before they were introduced. It becomes particularly grating when they treat the player character as if they're new to the whole "adventuring" thing despite the player character often having been around before the signature heroes even existed.
Repetitive Name: One of the vampyre names you can choose for yourself in "Branches of Darkmeyer" is Von van Von.
Reset Button: Unless you want the entire world to be rebuilt from scratch, do not break the Edicts of Guthix. The World Wakes revolves mostly around the followers of other Gods working together to remove this Reset Button by killing Guthix. They succeed.
Room Full of Crazy: A progressive example in Melzar's Maze, which has a number of cabinets that can be opened and searched. The first ones contain books, stacks of paper, and other mundane objects. As you progress, you start to uncover complete human skeletons, followed by stacks of loose bones, each one carefully labeled with a number. The last two merely contains piles of dead rats. Notes found in nearby bookshelves indicate Melzar was attempting to raise his countrymen from the dead, but was having trouble getting beyond ghosts and animated skeletons. The final record says he's selected two to try growing flesh on... one room before you encounter a pair of zombies.
Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Zigzagged with Daemonheim. Many areas of it seem to have been designed to be lived in, such as barrack-like bedrooms, libraries, and dinner halls; the small fish ponds, lodestones, golem statues, and other puzzles in some rooms designed as a security system to keep the digger's enemies out.
The Wilderness also has ruins abound. But then again, given that it was once like the rest of the world, this makes perfect sense...
There are several references to the short lifespan of guards.
Cabbages. They have almighty power and are key points in a number of plotlines. They were also part of a few April Fool's Day updates, notably one where they all became quite lively and you met the God of Cabbages, Brassica Prime.
It's been quite well established that penguins are evil communist masterminds.
Heim Crabs are also developers' favorite target for running gags.
Anything about skeletons and their eating habits examine texts.
Horses being mythological creatures in the world of Runescape.
Your character really doesn't like the navigator of the Lady Zay.
Pirate Pete has a tendency to give concussions to those who travel with him. Flanderized during A Clockwork Syringe.
Russian Reversal: The examine text of the Spirit Jelly is "In Runescape, acid gets indigestion from YOU!"
Rustproof Blood: Present in some dungeons. Justified in the player owned house dungeon, where it's just red dye.
In In Search of the Myreque, you're introduced to several of the resistance group against Morytania's vampires, and all of them are given backstories and motivations for joining the resistance. And then two of them are killed when the villain of the quest shows up.
In Quiet Before the Swarm, you get introduced to eight of the Void Knights and a few other people at their outpost. You talk to all of them and learn some things about them. Six of them die shortly afterwards.
Sacrificial Lion: In While Guthix Sleeps, NPCs that the player has probably spent a lot of time with during previous quests, slayer tasks, and so forth are killed by the Big Bad to let the player know just how serious this situation is.
Sadistic Choice: Choosing between saving Korasi and saving Jessika in The Void Stares Back.
Sand Worm: Strykewyrms, particularly the desert strykewyrm.
Sapient House: The Dominion Tower was once a young boy whose mind was sealed into the tower to escape his dying body.
Savage Wolves: Wolves appear as a common enemy, ranging from weak Adolescent White Wolves all the way to seasonal boss monsters Hati and Skoll. There's even a wolf familiar.
Scaled Up: The Completionist cape emote briefly allows the player character to transform into a giant black dragon. (The trimmed version of the cape transforms you into a golden dragon instead.)
Scary Impractical Armour: Black Knight Captain armour: while intiminating, it doesn't offer any protection in combat what-so-ever and is purely cosmetic and used to infiltrate the Black Knights' Fortress.
Scenery Gorn: After a certain quest, Edgeville gets utterly trashed by a savage attack by The Dragonkin. It's functionally identical to before, but there are enormous scorch marks and lots of eternal (but non-spreading or damaging) fire everywhere.
In "Let Them Eat Pie", you feed someone a rancid pie, then listen from downstairs. You hear him begin to be violently sick, then the game tells you the sound effects only get worse, and asks if you're sure you want to hear the rest. The sound effects really do only get worse.
Separated by a Common Language: Being developed in Britain and using British terms for items can and does confuse American players unfamiliar with the game and British terminlogy in general. Adding to some confusion, some "American" (or, rather, more easily recognizable internationally) symbols and terms are used, such as the American dollar sign symbol for banks on the minimap.
Recipe for Disaster, which at the time of its release was the game's longest and most difficult quest, is the sequel to Cook's Assistant, a tutorial quest.
Demon Slayer and its sequel Shadow of the Storm. From an early-game freeplay quest where your biggest Fetch Quest is 25 bones and your biggest fear of dying is accidentally aggroing a level 9 mage, to a long, desert-based quest with several puzzles and a level 100 boss capable of using protection prayers.
Infamously in the Plague quest line, it goes from two easy (if rather long) quests to the Underground Pass, which is a very, very long trek through a monster-infested cave. Some people still consider Underground Pass to be one of the hardest quests in the game, and the quests afterwards (Regicide, Roving Elves, and the infamous Mourning's Ends) just get harder.
The original achievement cape was the ordinary blue cape, which, in RuneScape Classic, was only available through the shop in the Champions' Guild, which required 33 quest points to enter. That was before capes could be dyed any color, so wearing a blue cape was proof that you'd done (at the time) almost all of the quests in the game.
Of course, eventually the Legends' Guild was added to the game, and with it came the new, even more prestigious Cape of Legends, which could prove that you'd gained over 100 quest points to access the Legends' Guild.
Then we got Skillcapes (requiring level 99 in one skill) and the Quest cape (all quests complete).
Not enough? How about the Dungeoneering Master Cape, for level 120? (Dungeoneering is the only skill that maxes out at level 120 rather than 99. There is still a cape for Level 99 Dungeoneering.)
Next up we have the Max cape, for all skills at level 99.
But wait, there's more! The Completionist cape can be obtained after maxing out every skill, completing every quest, completing every miniquest, and completing every task.
Thought we were done? Nope! If you want a trimmed Completionist cape, you also need to do all of this. For perspective, the Castle Wars requirement alone takes nearly two thousand hours to achieve. Minimum.
Thankfully, it's been reduced to "only" 760.8 hours, provided you win each and every match. Translated to days, that's nearly 32 days of only playing Castle Wars.
Thought having a Skillcape showed off your mastery of a skill? Nah, that's just the start. If you're really a master of your skill, then you want a Master Skillcape, each which has the same XP requirements as level 120 Dungeoneering.
Mahjarrats can change their forms to whatever they want, which ends badly for Jhallan in The Tale of the Muspah — he has a nightmare while he hibernates and transforms into a Muspah, a mythical beast in Mahjarrat culture, which takes most of his strength.
Various quests require the Player Character to turn into a goblin, a monkey, etc.
Player: Boric, tell Doric why you sleep with a teddy.
Boric: What? How do you know about that?
Player: Elementary! You see, I noticed on your fingers not just the dirt that comes from working as a smith but also the fibres that could have only come from a teddy bear. The fact that they are visible means you must regularly sleep with it - and grip it quite tightly at that.
Shoo Out the Clowns: With the advent of more effective means of finding and removing macros and bots, Jagex eventually resorted to discontinuing the various random events, coinciding with a more general shift to greater seriousness in the game. This is downplayed, however, as the characters from the random events may still be found in appropriate locations in-game.
Significant Anagram: Wahisietel is a mahjarrat who hasn't been seen in decades and is believed to be in hiding. Ali the Wise is a mysterious man who seems to be an expert on mahjarrat and is very interested in their goings-on. Jagex deliberately drew attention to this parallel by using the name as a word-scramble puzzle in a Chaos Elemental letter—some people solved it and got Ali the Wise, others solved it and got Wahisietel, and the fandom said, "Hey, wait a minute..."
In the Blood Pact quest, you have to do all the fighting because she says she's injured. She was lying to see how well you did.
In Carnillean Rising, she takes it a bit further by arranging for a powerful Wolf Matriarch to attack during the otherwise fake quest you've prepared for young Philipe. He does manage to kill it with your help, but he's still a teenage spoiled brat facing down a magically empowered Mama Wolf several times the size of the player character.
Musician: "Did you know music has curative properties? Music stimulates the healing humours in your body, so they say."
Player: "Who says that, then?"
Musician: "I was told by a traveling medical practitioner, selling oil extracted from snakes. It's a commonly known fact, so he said."
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Kennith grows from about 10 to 21 or so in the 2 years between "Kennith's Concerns" and "Salt in the Wound", even though the in-game time hasn't changed. You can question Kennith about it, with the Hand Wave that "People grow up, right?"
Some Dexterity Required: In the early days of RuneScape, things including but not limited to mining, smithing, and woodcutting required much more clicking than they do nowadays.
Sound of No Damage: If your enemy is hitting zeroes on you, there's a sound effect of stuff scraping off your armor (if you are wearing armor, that is).
Space Compression: Cities, towns and other settlements take almost as much space as forests, even though largest cities have the size of a medium-sized village. It takes only less than half an hour for a player to walk from one end of the mainland to another. Yet the manual, NPC stories and historic tales might leave the impression of large cities and vast lands. Very notable example is Burgh De Rott. Vampyres think that town is deserted, but it's less than 100 meters from the capital of Morytania where town should clearly be seen, especially for the fact that flying vyrewatch approaches very close to the settlement.
Space-Filling Path: The Ourania Runecrafting Altar, the Ape Atoll tunnels, a road in Morytania, among others.
Spikes Of Doom: Present in some of the locations like agility courses. They won't kill you instantly though.
Spiteful A.I.: The Chaos Dwarf Battlefield is a prime example. Attacking any chaos dwarf causes all of them to become aggressive towards you, ignoring the Black Guard that are attacking them—getting shot at by 5-6 chaos dwarf hand cannoneers at once can kill you pretty quickly, unless you have the Protect from Missiles prayer/Deflect Missiles curse on, in which case, they'll walk all the way across the battlefield to start bashing you with their hand cannon instead of firing at the Black Guard. This can be abused to lure them to the back of the battlefield, where Black Guard berserkers will make quick work of them, and they do go back to their normal routine of engaging the Black Guard after some time has passed, though.
Stalked by the Bell: In the Fight Pits, if players take too long to kill one another, volcanic creatures will show up to join the fight.
Zamorak is a successful version of this to Zaros. Lucien doesn't fare too well.
Branches of Darkmeyer reveals that Vanescula Drakan serves as one to her brother Lord Drakan. She even kills her other brother Ranis during the quest.
Stat Grinding: Infamous for this. Both combat-related and non-combat skills are leveled up by gaining experience, either through repeatedly performing monotonous tasks or through rewards from completing quests. For scale, getting a single skill to level 99 requires the player to amass just over thirteen million experience points in that skill alone. The sheer length of this grind makes achieving level 99 in one or more skills a highly-regarded mark of prestige among the player community; conversely, it is also directly identifiable as the root cause of the game's never-ending bot/macro epidemic.
Some players take this Up to Eleven by raising skills to the outright experience cap of 200 million points — not for any additional levels beyond 99 (or 120 for Dungeoneering), but solely for the prestige and bragging rights.note For comparison, 200 million experience points in a single skill is enough to raise fifteen individual skills to level 99 in their own right.
In the Priest in Peril quest, the player is forced to kill a magically enhanced dog guarding the well at the head of the River Salve, causing it to be tainted by dark mages and necessitating a corresponding cleanup effort.
In the elf quest series, the player is forced to serve King Lathas for the first several quests; you eventually get to escape being a completely gullible moron, but not before (apparently) killing his brother Tyras.
The Myreque quest series starts with the player leading Vanstrom Klause straight into the resistance fighters' hideout without a hint of suspicion or identity-checking.
Bringing Home the Bacon, while mostly a fairly comedic quest, forces the player to poison a number of "bacon addicts" on Eli's orders before he proceeds to feed their remains to the pigs.
Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Bard Roberts' "The Great Brain Robbery" shanty ends with the lines "Mi-Gor tried to stop your heart's pace / Your foe's arm part anchor, part mace / Struck without delay / But him ye did slay / made him look a total...[beat]...moron."
Swamps Are Evil: Both averted and played straight. There's a swamp just south of the starting town that's populated by goblins and giant rats, but they won't attack you; in fact, several quests involve locations in this swamp itself, including one of the beginner quests in the starting town itself. Once you progress farther, though, you encounter the land of Morytania, which is arguably one big swamp full of werewolves, the Vyrewatch, and other restless dead, all out to kill you. Special mention goes to the Mort Myre, though, which is full not only of spooky pools and acid-spitting snails, but also Ghasts, which are intangible and sneak up behind you to spoil the food you're carrying. If, by chance, you don't have any food or a particular plot item, they'll instead spoil your own flesh (i.e., your hitpoints).
The Sacred Clay weapons can transform between the three different combat styles, and the tools can transform between many useful tools like needles, fletching knives, hatchets, and butterfly nets.
Memebers also have access to the Dwarven Army Axe, which combines the functions of a hatchet, pickaxe, needle, tinderbox and chisel into one item. While nowhere near as good as a specialty pick or hatchet, being able to cram five tool into one inventory slot is very useful when traversing dangerous areas of the world that need those sort of tools to get around.
Suicide Attack: The Menaphite chief god Tumeken did this to the entire Mahjarrat race after they joined Zaros. They were reduced from 500 to a few dozen.
Prior to the Evolution of combat, ranged and magic armor had little to no negative effects on melee combat, and with the perceived over-poweredness of melee had some players complaining the combat triangle was skewed towards melee.
Talk Like a Pirate: While some pirates mock players who speak in this manner, there are still a few who use this trope. There's even a book, in game, on pirate speak, explaining some of the terms.
Take That: Some Jagex mods have shown that they don't like the recent turn towards microtransactions. Mod Ash had made a character say that she is "not some stupid goblin giving rewards for free", and when a player asks Mod Stu about finding a certain mysterious NPC:
Player: Do the special conditions involve Solomon's General Store?
Citizens of Pollnivneach can be easily knocked out with blackjacks. Bizarrely, attempting to knock someone out with your bare fist gives the same message as trying to use any weapon besides a blackjack: "You need to find a different weapon. You want to knock him out, not kill him." Apparently, bare fists are deadlier than wooden clubs.
This is what happens to your character when you are transported or wish to go to places like Braindeath Island or "The Pit". Unfortunately, your character's Genre Blindness prevents them from catching on to the distraction tricks.
Temporal Paradox: Lampshaded in the Evil Dave part of "Recipe for Disaster", when you try to explain to Dave why you need to save him (he's in a time bubble).
Teleport Cloak: Several capes have teleports, notably the Ardougne cloak.
Teleport Interdiction: There are all sorts of ways to block teleportation. The most obvious one is the "Teleblock" spell, which, when cast on another player, temporarily prevents them from teleporting. There's also some areas, notably the Wilderness, where teleportation is either limited or completely disabled.
Time Travel: Courtesy of the Meeting History quest, notably with the player character introducing the concept of Herblore to the Humans in the 1st Age!. note in past B, Sara grew unhealthy due to coughing due to an life illness, by learning what she took in the current past, the character went back a few years to Past A; when Sarah was a Baby, by mixing the medicine and telling her father the recipe, she would be healthy in the new future, and her father; Rodger would remain sane from not hearing her constant cries, he will tell then you the story of the first humans arriving to Runescape, amongst other things you have influenced within the Past...
Timey-Wimey Ball: The World Wakes opens a gigantic can of worms as all of the involved, "previous" quests are not requirements to it. Also, all of those quests, and The World Wakes itself, are now considered part of Runescape's past. What this means is, all future content will assume the events of those quests have already happened, even for players who haven't completed them.
Underground Pass has a rather sadistic version of this, where you have to guess which panels are safe for you to walk on, and which aren't. You take 150 damage for each wrong guess, and the path is different for each person. And you have to pass through at least once or twice more before unlocking the shortcut. Hope you remember the correct path.
Dream Mentor has a similar version, except that you don't take damage when you fail.
Dungeoneering has a similar puzzle where you have to guess the correct path through 3 rows of spikes, which deal 100-200 damage every time you hit them. Good thing the spikes have an Investigate option to help mitigate the problem.
The baby troll pet is basically a pun on this. You can feed your baby troll an item, which it will then be named after. All pets have a pickup option, identical in spelling to the pickup item option. Thus, you can feed your pet troll an expensive item and then "troll" people who try to pick it up.
Sliske's fan club is basically a cult of crazy people dedicated to this.
Inevitably, the actual player base will have jerks among it, who will trouble other players not for any practical benefit, but just because they can.
Turns Red: Some of the quest bosses; Nomad, for example.
Twenty Bear Asses: A few of the earlier quests. However, the developers realized how formulaic it was, and created a formula for making them. Hence—the Slayer skill.
The game used to have unidentified herbs which could only be identified with the proper Herblore level. This feature was patched away in 2007 because some players were abusing it in scams, offering the herbs in trades and claiming them to be more valuable than they really were.
Nitroglycerin, a quest item, is labeled "Unidentified liquid" until you bring it to an archaeologist who can tell you what it is (and scream at you not to drop it).
Urban Segregation: Varrock, Ardougne and Keldagrim. To some extent, Darkmeyer and Meiyerditch.
Useless Accessory: Among the myriad of armor and weapons, several pieces of equipment offer no stat bonuses whatsoever, such as the Brass Necklace and Cyclopean Helmet, relegated to only serving cosmetic purposes.
Vendor Trash: Lots of items. In fact, some minigames and aspects of the game have items specially designed for them.
Vicious Cycle: The Runescape universe revolves around the life cycle of the Elder Gods. The Elder Gods start off by practising their skill at creating perfect worlds for generating Anima. Eventually, Elder Gods are born from eggs on the final, perfect, world, and drink its Anima Mundi dry. All existing worlds save the perfect one end up destroyed and the cycle begins anew. The Elder Gods are largely oblivious to the existence of sentient life, and only those who hide in the Abyss ever survive. Zaros's main goal is to put an end to this cycle. To do so, he intends to ascend into Elder God status so that he can petition them on behalf of sentient life and open their eyes to its existence and value.
Video Game Caring Potential: Most of the player character's interactions with Zanik in the Dorgeshuun questline, especially in the last couple quests.
Vulnerable Civilians: Depending on how powerful your character is, it can be easier to kill civilians than talking to them, since you have to right-click to talk to them, but the default left-click option is to attack.
Wall Master: Wall beasts, seen only as giant hands that reach out of cracks in the walls to grab you.
Walking Shirtless Scene: The Godless tend to wear very light clothing. Holstein wears almost nothing on his torso but a shoulder pad and a sash. Kara-Meir is even complete with a Chainmail Bikini. Word of God says that their clothing is light to imply guerilla warfare. Brassica Prime and Marimbo make fun of Holstein's outfit, with Brassica treating him like a homeless person and Marimbo mockingly flirting with him.
Warp Whistle: There's a huge variety of items and spells that can be used to teleport yourself to different places around the map.
Grandmaster-level quests in general, but special mention goes to "While Guthix Sleeps", "Ritual of the Mahjarrat", and "The World Wakes".
The World Wakes has some wham that's hard to top. Guthix is dead. The gods are coming back. Sliske may be ascending as Zamorak once did. And the only thing standing between the world and the next god wars is the player, who has been granted the ability to resist the power of gods in Guthix's dying moments.
Some Master-level quests get this as well, particularly "The Temple at Senntisten" with the return of Zaros.
Even the novice "Missing, Presumed Death" is quite whammy, where it's revealed that Sliske has obtained the Stone of Jas, kidnapped Death and a Dragonkin, and is hosting a contest between the gods with the Stone of Jas as its prize.
What the Hell, Hero?: The player calls out Xenia after the quest 'The Blood Pact' when it's revealed that Xenia was faking being injured and used the rescue mission to test the player, putting Ilona's life at stake in the process. The player is not amused.
Ents (before they were discontinued), evil trees, undead trees, tree spirits in the Enchanted Valley, and the Jade Vine if left too long untrimmed. Ironically, the latter were almost driven to extinction because of the amount of slayer experience they give upon death.
The Dagannoth Kings, three powerful boss monsters who live in the same chamber and, between them, use all three combat styles.
The Fairy Godfather and his three ork generals, Bre'egth, Shredflesh, and Gromblod, are fought as a group at the end of "Fairy Tale III — Battle at Orks Rift". In an interesting twist, killing each of the ork generals gives the Fairy Godfather and the orks a disadvantage.
Womb Level: The final sequence of "Song from the Depths" has the Player Characterswallowed by the Queen Black Dragon, and subsequently escaping from a fleshy dungeon filled with acid pools and teeth.
The Weird Old Man—you know, the one who's fascinated by the kalphites—once told me that 'All you need is love'. Well, I tried that for a week and let me tell you what happened: I got 173 complaints from postal customers, a few bodily dysfunctions that I didn't know I was capable of, and irate letters from my mum, asking why I've not been visiting her. So, what have I learned? Never listen to weird old men in the desert, especially if they are beetle fans — PP
Most of the Tasks have punny names. For example, a mining task is named "Take Your Pick". Another task requires killing a zombie in a sewer; its name is "Draaaaaiiiiiins..." And so on. Doubles as Reference Overdosed.
Take a look at the Siege of Falador. Basically caused because the White Knights drove out their rivals, the Kinshra (who were at that time important cofounders of Falador), thus splintering Falador and ticking the hell off the Black Knights. Why would they do this? Because the king was sick, thus giving the opportunity. But you ask any Saradominist, they'll tell you the Kinshra just 'relocated' and then attacked a year later, 'completely unprovoked'.
The forces of Saradomin and Zamorak actually put aside their eternal rivalry for a concerted campaign to wipe all memory of Zaros off of the face of Gielinor, and the few who were allowed to remember spread propaganda that Zaros and his followers were the height of all evil. Contrary to this, the loyalist Zarosians that the player meets in-game are generally decent and honourable, particularly Azzanadra and Wahisietel.
Balustan: Don't we have blood on our hands. We are criminals. We stole stuff from museums, helped assassinate priests, have murdered countless lives and have no regard for the law. Nobody seems to care either...
Mod Stu: Yes. Yes, you do, and yes you are. You're a bad person, Balustan.
Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal: In the "Thok Your Block Off" Fremennik Saga, a brain-eating zombie wanders towards Thok, pauses...then wanders away and starts eating a Forgotten Mage instead.
Your Mom: One of the insults you can use while interrogating a zombie pirate in "A Clockwork Syringe" is "Yo momma has enough chins for 99 ranged!"
Your Costume Needs Work: Your character will try and tell two children, Amelia and Rory, that you are the hero in the Myreque quests. Rory insists that if that was the case, you would be taller, stronger, and wear a bow tie. Telling him that you would never wear such a thing convinces him that you are definitely not the hero.