HighFantasy! The adventures on an epic scale of good and evil in imaginary worlds, filled with magic, dragons, and no more than medieval tech! Where the young person finds the MacGuffin and defeats the EvilOverlord and saves the world!

You may want to also read SoYouWantTo/WriteAHeroicFantasy -- the lines between that subgenre and this one are not set in stone.

!'''Necessary Tropes'''

* Setting - A world other than ours. It may have a nominal connection with present day Earth, such as being our remote past or future, but this plays no role in the plot. {{Mythopoeia}} is often put into play to define the very metaphysics of the world. Nevertheless it often resembles medieval Europe.
* Scale - Epic. Power politics, wars, the death of nations, gods walking the earth, and the real threat of TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt--which is why the genre is also known as ''epic'' fantasy.
* The BigBad is the EvilOverlord and ''really, really, really'' bad. He tends to be not so much a man as a personification of some evil and destructive force.
* Winning by sheer brute force is more typical of HeroicFantasy. The MacGuffin or some such piece of magic is commonly needed, though usually a fair amount of sneaking is needed.
* FunctionalMagic

!'''Choices, Choices'''
* FiveRaces. Most Heroic Fantasies will [[LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces be stocked to the brim with non-human races]], but for the most part the classic [[HumansAreSpecial human]]-[[OurElvesAreBetter elf]]-[[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarf]]-[[{{Hobbits}} hobbit]]/[[OurGnomesAreWeirder gnome]]-[[OurOrcsAreDifferent orc]]/[[AllTrollsAreDifferent troll]] quintet is the most common.\\
Or not. Chose the races you want. Or invent your own. You can even choose to forgo non-humans altogether -- PeopleOfHairColor is common to tell humans apart -- or no humans.
* [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragons]]. [[HereThereBeDragons There will most likely be dragons]]. If you do include dragons in your story, there are a lot of necessary decisions to make. Are they sentient? Do they [[BreathWeapon breathe fire]]? Do they bring rain? Do they hoard treasure? Are they AlwaysLawfulGood, AlwaysChaoticEvil, or does it vary based on individual? [[DinosaursAreDragons Are they descended from dinosaurs]]? Do people [[DragonRider ride them]]? And honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

* FarmBoy saves the day! But the danger is that it can be too contrived. The innocent young hero has many virtues, but you have to make convincing reasons why he happens to be the one to do it.
* SecretLegacy. The FarmBoy often turns out to have RoyalBlood and be the sole heir to the throne. Making it plausible that someone who's never been off the farm for his childhood can actually rule a kingdom is rather difficult.
* The MacGuffin and the PlotCoupons. HighFantasy is notorious for having these work as Plot Devices. Disguise them well if you use them.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo. Too many writers use a prophecy as a substitute for CharacterDevelopment.
* Making [[PlanetOfHats Races of Hats]]. All too often fantasy setting have [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame all dwarves be gold-obsessed drunkards]], [[OurElvesAreBetter all elves be stuck up snobs]], and all [[strike:Hobbits]] [[{{hobbits}} halflings]] be child-like or tricksters, and such. While [[LordOfTheRings Tolkien]] did show there were different kinds of people in each race [[AllThereInTheManual in the manual]], others have copied these designs to the point where they have become cliche. Nowhere in nature is there an entire race of stuck up snobs (well, maybe [[CatsAreMean cats]]). This is easily avoided if you are making races from scratch, but if you are using mythical races, [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch showing races aren't all clones of one person]] (that is, unless they [[CloningBlues are all clones of one person]]) is a good idea.
** On the same note, making a race AlwaysChaoticEvil. [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orcs]] and other "[[{{Mook}} cannon fodder]]" races are always shown as violent barbarians, willing to [[BloodKnight kill]]/[[RapeAsDrama rape]]/[[ImAHumanitarian eat]] any other creatures they come across. However, this trope has essentially become [[DiscreditedTrope discredited]], for as the trope entry says...
---> "even in the most toxic culture, '''someone''' will choose [[DefectorFromDecadence decency]]".
*** One also must be careful of invoking [[SpaceJews unfortunate real-life racial imagery]] when deciding to go for an AlwaysChaoticEvil angle for an entire race of people; the ''other'' part of the discrediting noted above stems from the fact that in recent times there has been substantial criticism of seminal works like ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' from a civil rights perspective. All things considered, this is territory you likely want to ''avoid'', so stay conscious of it.

!'''Potential Subversions'''
* BecauseDestinySaysSo is the commonest reason why the FarmBoy has to succeed. Developing other reasons can work. Perhaps the littlest wizard has to do the job because all the more powerful ones were massacred.
** Perhaps being a hero helps pays the bills in your fantasy universe? It could be an interesting way to explore the moralities of the people who maintain such an occupation.
* Morals. BlackAndWhiteMorality is common. But shades of gray among the heroes and lower ranking villains often works. (Lighting up the EvilOverlord generally moves you out of the genre entirely.)
* Try incorporating an interesting spin on the common fantasy races. If your works has elves then why not make them a little more alien? OneGenderRace wouldn't hurt.
** To add to the above example try tackling the downside of elves being eternally beautiful; such as drawing a lot of unwanted attention.
* How about a story where a character wants to become an evil overlord? In doing so the character becomes a NobleDemon who is up against an evil overlord that is a CompleteMonster.
* To step further outside the BlackAndWhiteMorality try having the group in your fantasy setting consist of a RagtagBunchOfMisfits. The kind of fantasy characters that nobody expects to root for but we do in the long run.

!'''Writers' Lounge'''

!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

!!'''Potential Motifs'''

!!'''Suggested Plots'''
* Revolt! the Orcs and/or Beastmen are bloody sick of being herded off to die in their thousands, and it's time for a change! Who is this upstart champion of the downtrodden and musclebound? None other than your main character!
* War! An EvilOverlord bent on world domination is razing every kingdom in his wake. The heroes must unite the [[FantasticRacism ever-bickering]] races of the world to stand against him!


!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''

* Good guys commonly go for TheGoodKingdom, TheLostWoods, and {{Arcadia}}.
* The Evil Overlord favors the EvilTowerOfOminousness, or TheEmpire.
* Remember the readers will often be expecting the FisherKing. If the land does not match the inhabitants' character, there must be a reason for it.

!!'''Props Department'''

* Functional magic items work well
* Swords with some sort of plot significance are staples of this genre, usually imbued with magical power.

!!'''Costume Designer'''
* Tunics and cloaks are common, mainly because they were worn in medieval Europe.
* Wizards sometimes wear pointy and/or raggedy hats. These sometimes have plot significance.

!!'''Casting Director'''
* Because of the traditional high stakes, the [[ResignedToTheCall Reluctant Hero]] works well; the most [[HomeSweetHome home-loving]] hero can tell he has to move if the world will be destroyed without it. Note that if you lower the stakes, the motivations have to change.
* Well, for a heroic quest, you might go with HeterosexualLifePartners, the PowerTrio, the FourGirlEnsemble, the FiveManBand....
* A FiveManBand is the most common way to arrange the protagonists, oftentimes so that each member of the cast is one of the FiveRaces.

!!'''Stunt Department'''


!'''Extra Credit'''

!!'''The Greats'''

* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings ''
* Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/ThreeHeartsAndThreeLions''
* Creator/PeterSBeagle's ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn''
* Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy''