Tabletop Game / The Witcher: Game of Imagination
aka: The Witcher

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The Witcher: Game of Imagination (Polish Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni) is a Polish Tabletop RPG set in the Witcher universe and released in 2001.

During the late 90's, there was some real hype around The Witcher in Poland. The last part of the saga was released and the author had a deal for a TV series and a film. In addition, there was a small project to create a tabletop RPG game based on the saga. The tabletop game was the only one of the three to find success.

There was no real competition for the game on the Polish market during that time, as it was the first Polish system to combine a few key elements: it was based on an established media property, it had its own unique mechanics, it had a fantasy setting, and it was helped by hype (as it was faithful to the source material). Its rules and mechanics are also extremely simple and user-friendly - it's entirely possible to explain them to a layman in five minutes.

The mechanics are based on d6 and derived from it d3 and d2. There are nine stats divided into two sections: six physical (Constitution, Movement, Strength, Perception, Dexterity and Agility) and three more or less mental (Intellect, Will and Savoir-vivre, the last being a combination of generic Charisma and overall presentation). Each statistic (except Movement) has certain skills attached to it, like Alchemy and Economics being listed under Intellect or Acrobatics being listed under Agility. Both stats and skills range from 1 to 5 (skills can also be at 0). The higher the stat, the more d6 you use, e.g. 3 Strength means you grab 3d6 for rolls based on it.

All tests go by the same rule - certain actions have either a set difficulty or a difficulty which is derived from certain parameters. The difficulty ranges from 0 ("no sweat") to 9 ("heroic deed"). Skills lower the difficulty by themselves, e.g. the difficulty of opening a basic lock is 4 and if your character has Cracking at 3 the final difficulty is 1. Then you take amount of d6 equal to your tested stat (so in case of mentioned Cracking you take d6 equal to your Dexterity) and you must roll a number of successes equal or higher to the difficulty. Success is any outcome higher than 3 on any given dice. This makes for the unintended effect of having high stats matter less - while a high stat makes a success more likely, the higher-difficulty actions scale together with stats or even faster.

There are also Fate Die involved in success tests. If your stat is 1, you only use one Fate Die. Any higher amount adds additional dice. Fate Dice are used as a critical success and failure meter, with 1 being a critical failure and 6 working as a critical success.

Certain stats are calculated into sub-stats, like Construction determining Hit Points, or Strength how much your character can actually carry.

These simplistic mechanics, while often criticized by D&D players, were intentional. As the title implies, it is a game of imagination, putting heavy emphasis on story-telling and pure fun, while both the source books and later additions heavily discourage using mechanics as the sole way of controlling and judging players actions. Also, the GM is called the "story-teller" (bajarz in Polish), to put further emphasis on story instead of dice rolls.

And even in combat, the mechanics are still dynamic and fast-paced. Aside from regular attacks, players can use called attacks targeting certain body parts (with increased difficulty) or use special combat maneuvers... if the character knows any. It also happens to be one of the few tabletop RPGs, where even a small skill increase makes your character very visibly stronger in said field, as higher skills means lower difficulty and thus more successes during throws, which can lead to (much) higher damage, lower mana use, or automatic successes in trivial tasks.

There are no levels, so the game is basically based on very slow and hard-to-do Stat Grinding. Why is it hard? Thanks to its mechanics, even the strongest character can die after 3 to 4 hits from regular thugs (while being able to kill them in one, which is the trademark of witchers and well-trained rangers), not to mention monsters, powerful magicians and angry mobs. The game designers have taken a lot of pride and pleasure from such balance in fighting mechanics. And to grind your skills and stats you use your Points of Proficiency, which are a mix between Experience Points and Skill Points.

There are also no classes nor premade professions, but each race gets certain starting skills (and most of them repeat, since everyone has some basic knowledge about fist fighting or talking) and most of the races have minimal, maximal, or both kinds of caps on their stats, except for humans.

The game was first released as a "demo" pocket edition. Being a teaser, it only covers the bare basics of the mechanics and contains a simple example scenario. Then the actual source book arrived, giving detailed descriptions of mechanics, expanded combat maneuvers, a spell and prayers book, massive chapters full of information about the setting, a monster book, and a hefty chapter full of advice for story-tellers. Later, two expansions were released: the first was a description of Nilfgaard and a supplement to the basic rules (covering art of Min-Maxing, new fighting moves, and a new kind of magic based on Psychic Powers), and the second was premade scenario for a Cloak & Dagger campaign with only minor tweaks in the mechanics.

After those, a short-lived periodical called "White Wolf" was released. In fact, the whole "periodical" part was a marketing campaign to bring more attention towards the system. "White Wolf" lasted only three issues: one covering dryads and Brokilon, their forest, one about Novigrad, and one about spies, secret agencies and diplomats. It was never clearly stated if "White Wolf" was cancelled because the authors run out of ideas, or because MAG Publishing House, resposible for the whole system, was facing financial problems and was slowly leaving the RPG business. Aside from all those direct expansions, the magazine "Sword and Sorcery" - also owned by MAG - was printing articles even further expanding the game setting, giving handfuls of advices for story-tellers, and providing a few scenarios.

There was also a semi-official expansion, which covered the world a century before the Witcher's Saga, as a tie-in to a short story about Geralt's parents. It was intended to be officially published, but after cancellation it ended up being released for free by its author.


Tropes related to the game include:

  • Acrofatic: Halflings are pudgy - to put it mildly - and hardly look dangerous, yet their Splat requires the player to take at least 3 points in Agility.
  • Action Girl: By default, dryads and Zerrikanian Faithel warriors. The latter were introduced directly as a result of complaints about all the limitations of playing as a dryad and their lacking flexibility.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Zig-Zagged and inverted. Zerrikanian religion is a cult of dragons, revered for their power and wisdom. Other countries and most of the intelligent races treat dragons as mindless monsters that raze the countryside and hoard treasures, which are rightfully taken by any noble dragon-slayer. This leads to serious Culture Clash. And since dragons are really intelligent creatures with no intention for harm, you can guess the rest.
  • Aerith and Bob: The names of some settlements and landmarks are in Polish, some sound like they fit into a generic Medieval European Fantasy setting, others are Gratuitous Foreign Language, and a few are all of those at the same time.
  • Aggressive Categorism: Probably the biggest flaw of humanity and elves, as it fuels all of their morally questionable actions.
  • Alternative Calendar: It's somewhere during the 13th century of the Age of Man... counting from an unspecified event, most likely the Conjunction of Spheres. Humans themselves have no idea why their calendar works this way. The oldest event written down is their arrival to what's now the Northern Kingdoms somewhere during the year 764.
  • Amazon Brigade: Since dryads are a One-Gender Race of Cold Snipers devoted to protecting their forest, this is the basic way of organizing their ranks.
  • Amulet of Dependency: Witchers' medallions. They are the only source of Arcane Points for witchers and, not counting emergency meditations, they can't be recharged instantly. If they are depleted, witchers can't cast their signs until a recharge.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Self-sharpening swords cost quite a lot, but they also never wear out, so they are usually held by the same family for generations.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. After calculating everything, regular weapons deal about the same damage as the weakest type of bows. That makes them even already, without going for more powerful bows and crossbows. It's also far easier to shoot someone - shields, magic barriers, costly fencing moves and bad weather are the only things that can stop arrows.
  • Anti-Cavalry: Pikes and polearms by default. Magic barriers and some signs may be used to create invisible force-fields, breaking any possible charge and scaring horses in the process. The combat maneuver Break charge may be used to stop any kind of charge, including that of cavalry.
  • Anti-Magic: The sign Heliotrop can block any form of offensive magic, as well as concentrated sound-waves. Witchers are advised to use it from a safe distance — it tends to create a small explosion when the spell's energy is deactivated.
  • Anyone Can Die: This system is a hard punch for anyone who is used to Player Characters being Made of Iron. You. Will. Die. A lot. Most basic weapons in the hands of average enemies can deal enough damage to take a quarter of your hit points with a single blow. In the hands of professionals, the same weapons can kill you on the spot. And that's without even mentioning monsters - they deal enough damage to kill a character even with a mediocre roll.
  • Anything That Moves: As a result of being a Dying Race, elven sexuality descended into having as much procreation and conception as possible. It borders on Extreme Omnisexual - when given a choice, they prefer going to bed or raping humans and getting half-elves in the process than not having children at all. Because the aim is to get kids, homosexuality and purely romantic relationships are treated as Too Dumb to Live among elves.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Elves insist that they don't fight nor kill their own kin. The fact that the Scoi'a'tel kill without the blink of an eye every elf they arbitrarily label as a Race Traitor is only a tip of the iceberg of hypocrisy.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: You can't throw a rock further than 10 meters.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: You can't use bows or slings at a range of under two meters, while javelins and spears are no longer considered ranged weapons.
  • Archer Archetype: Dryads, the poster-girls of this trope played very serious.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Armor restricts movement, making the complicated gestures needed for sorcery difficulty — doubly so if you're untrained in wearing it. Witchers, by contrast, use rudimentary signs created specifically to overcome this problem.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. When facing humans and humanoids, armour can be very useful, going so far as to make a character almost invulnerable. On the other hand, bigger animals and monsters deal so much damage that armour won't even stop the fixed part of it, not to mention the outcome of damage rolls.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack:
    • Overseas weapons bypass anything less than plate armor, while there is a combat manoeuvre allowing a character to bypass plate armor with any weapon. However this works only on crafted armour, not the natural armor of monsters.
    • Spells dealing direct damage by default bypass half of the target's armour, rounded down.
  • Ascended Extra: Every single monster ever mentioned (even if just by name) in the short stories or the saga is present in the source book, with description, stats, attacks, and most with a picture.
  • The Assimilator: The Nilfgaard Empire, with a political system designed to hold the vast empire together both by force and cultural means. Being very tolerant (for the setting) helps immensely.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The only way to beat armoured opponents and bigger monsters. Dragons are extremely hard to take down, since the only body parts that can be effectively attacked are their eyes and the insides of their mouths. The skill Knowledge: Monsters is dedicated to figuring out the weak points of the monsters your character is facing.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Whips can be used for very flashy combat maneuvers like tripping over, disarming and strangling, but over such short distances that it's easier to just draw your sword or shoot your enemy from afar. They are close to useless against armoured enemies, most of animals and monsters.
    • Exotic weapons bypass any armour except plate armor, but they also cost a small fortune and have only d6 damage roll, while normal weapons can be customised for the user to deal additional fixed damage and become easier to wield.
    • Two-handed weapons deal 2d6 + twice the Strength of damage, but they require sufficient Strength and many combat maneuvers are restricted for one-handed weapons. It's more practical to use a a one-handed weapon and a shield, as this grants protection and the shield may be weaponized.
    • Subverted in the case of mini-crossbows and lamias (whips with metal spikes all over their length). The former deal relatively little damage and have a very short range, but they can be hidden in wide sleeves and shoot two bolts in a single round - right in the face. The latter has the range limitations of other whips, but deals damage like a two-handed weapon. And unlike other whips, it overcomes the problem with close-quarter fights, since the handle is a mace.
  • Background Magic Field: Arcane Points can be recharged just about anywhere, even if by a small amount. Of course some places are better sources than others.
  • Badass Normal: In a world with powerful magicians utilising Functional Magic, mutated monster hunters, a few different non-human races with physical capabilities beyond those of humans, personified Gaia's Vengeance and tons of monsters who can eat you whole for dinner, playing as a human tends to give this feeling. Because you can and often must stand your ground against all of those. Fluff-wise, humans managed to literally beat the other races into submission while having none of their perks and feats.
  • Badass on Paper: Applies to almost any type of character with inherited reputation. Witchers are feared for a reason, but they can die just like anyone else and are covered with countless scars and/or maimed by monsters that were this close to killing them. Still, in most cases their sole presence is enough to scare Mooks away or hold them back without doing more than taking their sword out of its sheath. Same applies to dryads - they are extremely dangerous, but fully aware that their main advantage is their status of The Dreaded. After all, they are just a handful of young women armed with bows and usually end their lives being hanged by an angry mob or slain by some barely trained mercs. Mages usually don't try doing anything stupid. Even if they can burn the whole town to the ground with a single spell, everyone in the setting is aware that getting trampled by an angry mob is much faster than burning them alive.
  • Bears Are Bad News: You really, really, really don't want to fight them. They are the strongest of normal animals... and stronger than most of the monsters. A single bear can tear a Player Party composed entirely of grizzled veterans apart, one character per round. It says something when aside from flying dragons and high vampires, bears are the toughest creatures you may fight against. And they are much, much more common than the other two.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The Cult of Freyja from the Skellige Isles takes this mindset to its logical extreme, since Freyja is the goddess of beauty and fertility. Her clergy is entirely made up of girls chosen for their looks and nothing else. It's assumed that if they are pretty, they must be chosen by Freyja to serve her and thus are good and innocent.
  • Berserk Button: Some of the disadvantages you can pick during character creation are these. Your character can be vengeful beyond reason, be extremely racist towards a certain race, or just become Ax-Crazy whenever blood is drawn.
  • Big Eater: Halflings are the friendly and cuddly version of this trope. Then there are bigger monsters. And oversized arthropods.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Just to name few out of a rather big bunch there are gigascorpions in size of a cow, crab-spiders able to chop your leg with their pinclers and ygherns, centripedes measured in meters. All of them are as dangerous as hell, as they have strong carapacse, most of them are poisonous and all of them are always hungry. Oh, and they are the only creatures immune to the Chunky Salsa Rule.
  • BFS: The standard-issue Temerian Landsknechts' two-handed sword, which can be as long as its wielder. It also comes with additional punch.
  • The Blacksmith: Dwarven Splat gives players a choice to pick one of a few Craft skills as their starting. They include: Armourer, Blacksmith, Goldsmith and Weaponsmith. Oh, and Stonemason.
  • Blade on a Stick: Two-handed weapons that are not swords are various kinds of pikes and polearms.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Humanity is the only race that has any form of (often misguided and exploited) patriotism. Other races barely comprehend why some oppressed villagers are more willing to die for their king and the political interest of their country than to just mind their own bussiness, especially since Humans Are Divided.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: You really don't want to piss off Coram Agh Ter or his worshippers.
  • Bound and Gagged: The best way to deal with magic users when you don't have to kill them. Or at least a cost-efficient one, since dvimerite handcuffs cost a fortune. This can badly backfire if the mage in question is good enough to cast spells without gestures or words.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Dwarves, but only when you are nice to them. People from Skellige are like this as part of their culture.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Shields. They make their wielders harder to hit with any kind of physical attack, add armour and are not penalized by anything. Oh, and you can bash people with them.
    • Polearms and pikes are very good against mounted enemies.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Entirely possible, with mechanics designed to help doing so. The better the bow, the more required Statistics. Longbows require 3 points in Agility. Compound bows need that and 3 points in Strength. Each two points in Agility provides character with one more defence, so 3 is the threshold at which it gets harder to hit characters with any physical attack. And melee damage gets a fixed bonus from Strength (two-handed weapons get twice the Strength). So with minor investment in Armed combat, archers can be deadly both at a distance and in close quarters. Humans have it especially easy, since they get 5 bonus points to skills during character creation, which can only be used on skills from their Splat. And Armed combat is one of them.
  • Brainwashed: The extent of it and how long it lasts depends on the process used for it:
    • Mages can use Charm and Hypnosis spells. The first one turns its target very friendly towards the caster. The second gives total control over its target. Both can be broken by sudden sound, pain, or strong willpower and can't last for more than an hour.
    • Witchers have the Aksji sign, which turns any creature friendly and obedient for a short while. Witchers can also use it on themselves, making them more focused on a given task and lowering the difficulties of actions related to fulfilling it. Aksji can be broken by roll of the Concentration skill and lasts for a single turn in the basic version.
    • Naturalised dryads are created by giving normal human girls the Water of Brokilon. The memories of their previous life are erased (some traces may remain) and they think of themselves as dryads. The effect lasts forever and is irreversible.
    • Depending how powerful psychics are and how much they focus, effects may range from a single, simple order to turning someone into a vegetable.
  • Bread and Circuses: The Nilfgaard Empire is literally using this over its population, with Gladiator Games, doing everything on time, and providing basic consumer products in reasonable prices. Who cares that half of those things came from pillage of the far North?
  • Break Meter: Played every possible way. Combat maneuvers, especially those in melee, can affect the defences of both the target and the user of that move. Most often, using combat maneuvers exposes the user in the next round (because they end up in a bad position for blocking incoming hits or to avoid being surrounded by enemies). They can also increase the defence of their target, making it harder to hit (try to reach two people with a single slash of sword). Usually, more powerful moves do both. There are also defensive moves - they make it harder to hit your character, often exposing the enemy in the process.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Inverted to the point of a deconstruction. The spell Fire net binds its target and that's about all it does. Any attempt of movement will deal d3 damage. Breaking free? That's 2d6 damage - almost half of the maximum possible Vitality the average character will have.
  • Brown Note: Bruxas can utter a scream strong enough to make your ears bleed. Or knock you to the ground at close distances.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Vitality is divided into four stages: Healthy, Beaten, Wounded and Dying, each corresponding to a quarter of total Hit Points. Healthy and Beaten represent situations when the character is out of a fight or has sustained some minor bruises during a fist fight and are rather harmless. Wounded makes your rolls progressively harder, while Dying seriously lowers your stats and skills and requires medical attention in a short time or the character will die. Reaching 0 Vitality or below it is instant death. Armour soaks damage, so it technically gives you additional points of Vitality for the body parts covered by it.
  • Cast from Hit Points: When mages cast spells beyond their current number of Arcane Points, the difference is taken from Vitality.
  • Cats Are Magic: They can't be fooled by illusions. And their favourite spots to lie on? Places of Power.
  • Cats Hate Him: Witchers make cats angry, for unspecified reasons.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Defied. Source book treats armour as unisex. If some part of body is not covered by armour, it doesn't gain any protection. Even the pictures in the chapter about the fighting mechanics have a few Action Girls in proper, functional sets of armour, and they still look awesome.
  • Character Alignment: Inverted. There are no typical alignments, but there is an Honor/Reputation/Adventure triangle in which players must put their characters. They are treated more as a compass for the players and a way to judge their actions by the story-teller than any actual mechanics.
  • Character Customization: While the source book only discussed it, it wasn't until the expansions that there were any mechanics for traits, perks and other special feats.
  • Character Level: The game is built on an aversion to such system, being more about Stat Grinding.
  • Charged Attack: Players can use their Combat Points to enhance the outcome of a hit roll. The same rule applies to spells, prayers, signs and psychic powers, but Arcane Points are used instead. Witchers are unique and can spend Arcane Points as Combat Points.
  • The Chew Toy: Mercenary Svarte and wizard Perignon, example characters used to show the mechanics in action, are treated almost like crash-test dummies, suffering Amusing Injuries in every single case that can end with something going wrong.
  • Child Soldiers: Since dryads don't shy away from kidnapping young girls and brainwashing them, this can happen. Then again, the "adult" age for humans in this setting is 16.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Not only present, but hits and shots aimed for the head also deal twice the default damage. Aiming for the eyes multiplies the damage by three, often leading to instant death or at least being incapacitated.
  • Church Militant: Most of the religions tend toward this.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: All kinds of prayers works this way. And the more people are chanting a prayer, the stronger the effects get. On the other hand, spells don't require any faith and are not only more reliable, but usually also more powerful. Usually.
  • Class and Level System: Intentionally averted.
  • The Coconut Effect: The authors openly admitted that this trope is the only reason why armour adds penalties to the wearer the way it does, e.g. plate armor is portrayed as heavy and constricting, in stereotypical RPG fashion. It didn't work - many players of other games still treat the system as "unrealistic" for not following other typical tabletop RPG fighting mechanics.
  • Cold Sniper: Dryads are an entire race of these armed with bows.
  • Combat Pragmatism: A recurring theme of the fighting mechanics. You can fight with honour and die a horrible death, you can use only flashy moves and exhaust yourself long before killing your enemies... or you can just fight as dirtily as possible, surviving the whole ordeal without breaking a sweat. Story-tellers are advised to rarely (if ever) use Mook Chivalry and make humanoid enemies as bastardly during fights as it fits.
  • Combat Tentacles: Zeulgs have four tentacles with hooks and suction cups, but kelpies are made of sentient tentacles, so there are always more of them than your character can chop down before being strangled.
  • Common Tongue:
    • Subverted. While there is a language called "Common", it's simply a language that humans use and not even all of them - people from Skellige use their own dialect, while Nilfgaardians and Zerrikanians use different variants of Elder Speech, language of the elves. Elder Speech itself is used in a few different forms that have as much relation to each other as Romance languages have with Latin.
    • The starting level of any language skill is usually 2 (in 0-5 scale), which means that even if characters use the language as their own, it's the local version and nothing more. It won't cover pronunciation from other countries and regions, not to mention knowing subdialects or understanding more complex words. This issue is constantly stressed in the source book, expansions and articles written for the game to remind players and GMs how suspicious their characters can be by the sole merit of talking in a different way than the locals.
  • Compelling Voice: A starting advantage that players can pick, which lowers the difficulty of every possible test based on talking, from haggle and pillow-talk to diplomacy and leading troops into battle. Costly, but very effective for diplomat-type characters.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: Averted. Bolts from crossbows may have enough force to stick out the other side of their target, after passing through cover.
  • Cool, but Inefficient:
    • Most of the combat maneuvers for ranged weapons and some of the signs used by witchers count. But nothing can compare with One-Hit Kill moves - they use more Combat Points than some characters can even have. For a single attack that could miss or be dodged.
    • Since each dodge attept costs 1 Combat Point, the perk allowing to perform two dodges per round can deplete the entire pool in no time, leaving nothing for maneuvers or even a dodge when it's really needed.
    • Averted in the case of spells. At first glance all of them are ridiculously overpriced, often costing more Arcane Points that it's possible to have, turning spellcasting into a highly inefficient playstyle. But if you carefully read the rules, they also show how high skill and additional successes during hit rolls reduce the intake of Arcane Points to almost nothing, or at least to bearable amounts.
  • Cool Sword: Overseas blades, witcher's swords (both types), and those customized for the user.
  • Corrupt Church: The Cult of Sun Disc has shades of this, but the Cult of the Eternal Fire is this trope. A church organization running the biggest trading port in the known world and its city, looking out mostly for its own benefits.
  • Counter Attack: Riposte, probably the most powerful combat maneuver for melee weapons in basic game, is described as such. But you can declare using it whenever you want.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Diminishing Returns for Balance strikes in its finest during character creation. Not counting race-related skills, rising anything beyond 3 points will cost you dearly, leaving almost no points for other skills. Rising too many things to level 3 will cost you dearly as well, So it's a player choice if he or she wants the character to be really good at a certain thing and virtually nothing else or being more balanced but without any distinctive abilities.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted in a really painful way. The less Vitality a character has, the more penalties are added, as a way to emulate effects of real injuries. Authors gave players a choice if they want to use this aversion as a rule, as it leads to Harder Than Hard territory.
  • Critical Failure: Authors are advised to be creative with their outcome, but never sadistic. There is no real mechanic for the effect of such failures, so it's all up to the story teller. But there is a special rule allowing to still succeed in whatever the character was trying to do, as long as there were enough successes on the other dice to pull the action and additional two to cover 1 on Fate Die.
  • Critical Hit: Criticals in a fight multiply the outcome of damage rolls by two (three when aiming for the head). Criticals in general may allow a character to pull an action that would otherwise be impossible to do with their Stat and skill level.
  • Cult: Not counting druidism, none of the religions or church organization have any official name, so they are referred as "cult of Place Name Of Your Deity Here". Said that, Coram Agh Ter has The Cult, with all the nasty things you can imagine about worshipping an Eldritch Abomination. Not to mention being persecuted by law in all countries.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Being ambushed by dryads is an in-universe example. Monsters the size of an elephant or bigger will stomp (some of them literally) the entire Player Party if no tactical cunning is used by the players. A single dragon can take down a small army with ease.
  • Cursed with Awesome/Blessed with Suck: In any other setting, witchers would have it good. Thanks to their mutations they age very slowly, and are always in good health/perfect condition. Said mutations also gave them such inhuman feats as night vision or the ability to control their heart rate, not to mention healing faster than anyone else. On the other hand, those same mutations provide them with often hideous traits (strange eyes and pigmentation, albinism, overgrowing teeth). Their job is the worst possible, with constant risk to their life for inadequate pay and no gratitude. It's hard to measure their life expectancy, since it always ends in desolated ruins or filthy dumping sites, when they are finally overpowered by a stronger monster.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Mermaids, nymphs and rusalki can easily qualify. They not only look human, but are also friendly and easy-going in their nature. Gender-flipped with tritons (mermen), as they are Cute Monster Guys.
  • Cycle of Revenge: All racial problems are fuelled by this, but nothing can be compared to the conflict between humans and dryads. Humans cut trees. Dryads scared them away. Humans cut more trees and hanged a few dryads. Dryads killed all hunters in the forest. Humans went on a small war with dryads. Dryads retaliated by killing everyone coming even close to Brokilon. Humans decided to burn down part of the forest. Dryads started kidnapping and brainwashing human girls for their ranks... On the other hand, races that decided to break the cycle and simply live together have it much easier.
  • Damage Reduction: Armour, both natural and crafted, works this way. If the target is hit, the damage is reduced by a certain value, depending on the type and/or layers of armour. Can lead to situations when no damage is dealt at all.
  • Damage Typing: Sort of. Damage itself is just damage, but during hit rolls, there are two groups of defences with three subgroups in each: physical (hand-to-hand, weapons, and projectiles) and magical (witchers' signs, magic, and prayers).
  • Darker and Edgier: While the source book and most of expansions are much more optimistic and less crap-sacked than the Witcher's saga, the expansion about Nilfgaard dials everything bad and horrible Up to Eleven, as it takes place During the War between the Nordlings and Nilfgaard. Scoi'a'tel and marauders rampaging all around, abundant monsters, mages with more political power than ever before, famine, poverty, whole countries reduced into smouldering ruins... just name it.
  • David vs. Goliath: While all smaller races can fit, halflings take the cake, since they are cute little gluttons able to smash you into pulp with sneak attacks and slings.
  • Death from Above: If it flies, your character is a good candidate for its dinner.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: If your character can withstand counterattacks, it's entirely possible to beat someone or something to death with just your bare hands or a stick. Or at least when the enemy is unarmoured and/or small enough.
  • Deflector Shields: There is a spell that stops projectiles. Witchers have two signs that work this way - Quen can block projectiles and even smaller creatures, while Yrden creates an impenetrable and stationary force field.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Weapons coated in or made of silver are extra effective against all kinds of monsters. Sometimes silver is the only thing those creatures can be hurt with.
  • Detect Evil: More in form of Detect Magic - witchers' medallions will start to vibrate when close to magic of any sort. Since all monsters are magic-related, it can detect their presence.
  • Determinator: Starting advantage Tough guy allows a character to ignore half of the penalties added for lacking Vitality. Characters with the Berserker trait ignore all Vitality-related penalties for the duration of their killing frenzies. A powerful enough Hypnosis spell may force people to do things otherwise unthinkable for them, but after doing so the spell is broken.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • More than a quarter of the source book is dedicated to giving different solutions and sugestions for story-tellers, ranging from things like "Organising campaigns for dummies" to exploring many of the high concepts of the game's world and their implications for players. This is very helpful for novice players, not only those starting with The Witcher, but with tabletop RPG in general.
    • Numerous elements of mechanics have alternative rules, ready for both players looking for simple solutions and those aiming for highly-detailed calculation of different factors.
    • There is a lengthy but light-hearted (and not condemning anyone) chapter discussing different types of players and how their behaviour can enchance or spoil fun for the rest of the team.
    • As mentioned below, there is a whole chapter about solving problems with the amount of witchers - going by one of interviews, devs started writing that chapter before they even fully decided to create the game, to be sure the problem could be solved.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • Witchers' starting swords. While one-handed, they deal the damage of two handed weapons, and half of it is fixed. Even with the worst possible damage roll they still surpass any regular sword with the maximum damage roll.
    • Combat maneuver Second Attack costs only one point to buy during character creation and is as broken as it sounds. While the second attack comes with a penalty, it can be overcome with sufficiently high Armed combat skill.
  • Divided We Fall:
    • Elves in their backstory factionised during the initial contact with humans. It didn't end well for them.
    • The main reason why the Northern Kingdoms get beaten by the Nilfgaard Empire - they are numerous, they hate each other and it's much easier to pick on them one at the time. By the time they realise the implications of a "not my bussiness" policy, a third of them are under Nilfgaardian rule.
  • Do Not Run With A Bow: Using any type of projectile-based weapon while running increases the difficulty of hit rolls. Shooting while riding makes it even harder.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Halflings, but to be honest they don't even have to wear them - the soles of their feet tend to be harder than shoes and seem to be immune to cold.
  • Do Not Go Gentle:
    • Dryads are more or less aware what their chances are against the rest of the world. That doesn't mean they stop shooting down anything that cross what they consider as the borders of Brokilon. And some of those places were deforested years ago...
    • Scoi'a'tel think they are fighting under this trope. The irony comes from the realization that new waves of pogroms agains elves emerged after the Scoi'a'tel started their so-called revolution - in the source book elves are looked down upon, but treated more or less fair. In the expansion about Nilfgaard, where Scoi'a'tel commandos run all around, elves are treated as third-rate citizens, as a form of collective responsibility.
  • Doppelgänger: An intelligent race of them. Pretty nice folks, at least when they don't have to kill you to take your place.
  • Druid: Druidism is one of the religions, with serious eco-balance preaching. Druids themselves have only a few traits typical to other fantasy versions and are more closely to the real-life version. Sure, they take women to their ranks, choose new candidates from magic-sensitive people and the environmental message is added, but that's about all. No shapeshifting, no special orientation in healing, no Animal Talk and especially no control over nature, since they consider it a sin. Think about it more like fantasy-counterpart Taoism than anything else. Oh, and they are usually nice to people. Unless said people are not nice to nature.
    • Druids' powers were vaguely defined in the game proper and never standardised - we never learned whether they use prayers like priests (as supported by the specific druidic prayer) or spells like wizards (supported by lore and some mentions in the text). Nor is there any specific skill for them either.
  • Dual Wield: Penalized, but possible. With the proper perks character can wield two regular weapons (without them, the weaker hand can only hold knives and lighter weapons), and the penalties are removed.
  • Dump Stat: Movement. Dear God, Movement. The only thing it's used for is measuring how long a distance a character can travel during a single round of a fight (which is irrevelant, as sooner or later you will end up in melee distance), and while travelling the world (which is irrevelant, as when riding or traveling by any other means than on foot you use the Movement of your mount or vehicle). There are dozens of House Rules to derive it from different Stats to save Stat Points.
  • The Dung Ages: In poorer kingdoms and remote areas at least. The info on life in Northern Kingdoms was directly taken from two books on medieval life. It should be noted that persona hygiene is on a rather high level for the setting - public baths are common and Nordlings take a bath at least once per week, while washing some body parts daily. The problems arise with the lack of any serious public sanitation, dung piling on streets (if there is a street), and the poor quality of water in more densely populated areas.
  • During the War: Expansion about Nilfgaard is set in times of the saga, with sizable part of it devoted to explaining the new political situation and how war affected known world.
  • Dying Race: Elves and dryads. It's easier to find a naturalized dryad (which is a well-disguised, brainwashed human girl) than an actual born dryad.
  • Early Game Hell: The mechanics is intentionally imbalanced vis-a-vis starting characters. In their zone of competence they have about a 50% chance to succeed in easy tasks. The expansions helped a bit, providing material for Min-Maxing and a bunch of easy-to-gain perks, but for a long time your character will remain relatively underpowered outside the specific field picked up at the beginning.
  • Elemental Powers: Mages regenerate their Arcane Points from elemental sources of different size. The bigger the source, the easier it is to overcharge - the effects ranges from nausea and nose bleeds to Your Head Asplode. Casting certain spells is easier after drawing from specific elements.
  • Elite Army:
    • Temerian Landsknechts - the most disciplined troops from the Northern Kingdoms, armed with BFS and acting like a single body on the battlefield. They are the only troops from the North to be descibed with standard Tactics and Cold Blood skills, so they are unlikely to panic or run away.
    • Troops of Nilfgaard proper are all like this, since they are using a standing army with standarized equipment (including uniform and armour), well-organized logistics and are lead by professional officers, not random nobles.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: In the backstory, the first thing elves did after landing on the Continent was declaring dwarves not worth living and starting a genocidal war with them. This equally maimed both sides and paved the road for being conquered by humans. Both races still hold grudges against each other. Dwarves also like to remind everyone how elves started talking about "us, older races" only after humanity decided that there was no room for elves.
  • Emotion Suppression: Witchers after meditation or under the effects of some of their elixirs completely repress feelings. Not that they have a vivid emotional life to begin with.
  • The Empire: Nilfgaard. But from their own (and legal) point of view they are The Federation.
  • Empty Levels: Both basic Physical and Magical Defenses scale accordingly with Agility and Will, but only increase at level 3 and 5. This makes a big difference during character creation, since defense against projectiles is based only on Agility, meaning characters with 1 and 2 Agility are a free game for all sorts of rangers, even when they carry shields. All remaining Defenses at least scale one-to-one with related skills too.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Dryads and Scoi'a'tel against humanity. Dryads are open with the fact that in any other situation they would simply kill the elves, since they are no better than humans when it comes to nature preservation.
    • Dvarves are immune to this, and whenever elves try to pull this against humanity, they coldly reply that elves only started talking about alliance after humans drove them to near-extinction.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: In desolate, remote, or semi-remote parts of the world everything is hostile.
  • Evil Pays Better: The most profitable disadvantages - those giving the most Stat Points and those not crippling a character - require the player to pick some criminal or outright psychopatic background. It starts with having a Hair-Trigger Temper, advances through things like Revenge Before Reason or going into an Unstoppable Rage whenever someone wrongs your character, and ends with being a wanted outlaw chased in the whole country or having the urge to kill everything around you after drawing blood.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The highest achievable level of Stat or skill, 5, is listed as Legendary. Reaching this level in any skill allows you to pull standard and mildly-badass actions without a roll. Legendary Stat grants you five dice for rolls related to that Stat, so even with zero skill you can pull some actions by sheer badassitude. That said, you still have a chance to fail.
  • Exotic Weapon Supremacy: Inverted. While "overseas weapons" bypass any armour exept plate and thus can deal higher damage, customized melee weapons might have a fixed bonus to damage (exotic get only one d6 roll). Not to mention that exotic weapons are extremely rare and cost a small fortune (especially true for bows).
  • Expanded Universe: The source book is this towards the short stories and saga. Then there are expansions for the source book, dealing with more detailed subjects.
  • Experience Points: Points of Proficiency.
  • Eye of Newt: Components are rarely used, mostly for more ritualistic spells.
  • Eyepatch of Power: You can create a one-eyed character. While it makes rolls based on visual perception just a tiny bit harder, it also grants 2 additional Stat Points during character creation, making it a really powerful bargain.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The game tries to avert this by putting emphasis on story-telling and discouraging the use of mechanics. But if you are Rule Playing...
  • Falling Damage: The safe height your character can jump or fall from is not only listed, but also influenced by the Acrobatics skill. Of course, after a certain point, it will be instant death for everyone. Soft Water is also affected, so not even it will reliably save a character.
  • Fan Disservice: Vicious and/or unintelligent humanoid monsters are not only described as butt-ugly, but all of them also get an appropriate pictures.
  • Fanservice: Whenever it was possible or fitting, a picture of a scantily clad or outright naked woman was placed. Some of them are for laughts (like the one under spell Teleprojection), while others are outright fanservice (like the naked wenches in the chapter about healing). Whenever an Action Girl is drawn, chances are high that she will also be Ms. Fanservice.
  • Fangs Are Evil: If anything looks humanoid, but with sizable or additional fangs - run like hell. Better not wait for a full analysis what you are facing, because it might be too late.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: Zerrikania, sort of. It's a safe haven for dragons (they are worshipped as deities) and Faithel warriors are dedicated to finding and bringing back dragons from the "barbaric west" - aka the Northern Kingdoms. Since it's a country beyond the known world, there are also no witchers or their equivalent, so monsters tend to be much more numerous. In fact, the mountain passes leading to Zerrikania being so heavily infested by all kinds of monsters is the chief reason why the country is barely known and almost mythical.
  • Fantastic Racism: One of the basic rules for the world is that every race is hated by other races. Humans are the most hated, as they are dominant. The only races not driven by inter-racial hate are gnomes and halflings, but that doesn't stop others from being prejudiced against them.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: Mostly averted. There are no classes and your character can end up as a Bunny-Ears Lawyer or a Jack-of-All-Trades and actually master them all. The only exception is the witcher/mage/priest combo, but it mostly comes from how those trades work in the setting, not actual game mechanics.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Lots, some retroactively made to Sapkowski's canon. It's actally hard to find something which is not one. Many of them border on Culture Chop Suey.
    • Dwarves even speak in quasi-German gibberish and Gratuitous German.
    • Elves are somewhere between Celts run over by Romans and Romans run over by barbarians, with a few dashes of Native Americans.
    • Kaedven is cross of Kievan Rus' and early-medieval Germany, Settling the Frontier for human civilization. It's more clear in remote areas than in civilized parts (as 2/3 of this huge country is covered with dense forest).
    • Kovir-Poviss is something between Britain and Venice - powerful, yet mostly uninterested with the affairs of other countries, an amalgam of small kingdoms and dutchies, with a powerful fleet and merchant marine. Winter capital is Venice with British Weather. Their main goal is to profit on high-sea trade.
    • Nilfgaard Empire combines both Roman empires with many elements of Nazi Germany. Funnily enough, it's the most liberal country when it comes to race and gender.
    • Novigrad is Hanseatic Lübeck combined with Freestate Amsterdam. And run by strict clergy.
    • Mahakam is industrialized Rhineland inhabited by dwarves, placed under the eponymous mountain chain.
    • Redania is Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth - numerous and equal nobles hold power, their cavalry is the best in the world, the main source of income is exported grain and commoners are treated like private property, while halflings play role of foreign settlers in the Commonwealth. Their king has the vaguely Slavic name of Radowid, and he's the son of Queen Hedwig. Even its coat of arms is very similar to Polish from the times of the Commonwealth, while the book only said it's an eagle on a red shield.
    • Skellige Isles are blatant Horny Vikings, with many references to Norse culture and terminology.
    • Toussaint is late-medieval Provence and Piedmont, only without the sea.
    • Zerrikania has many vibes of Central Asia and steppe cultures, but under matriarchy.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: The expansion about Novigrad introduced the skill Artillery and a Greek Fire-like substance. Players deny it's existence, while authors regret putting it in.
  • Fatal Flaw: On race level:
  • Fear Is the Appropriate Response: Meta-example. When your hansa lacks a witcher or at least a powerful magician in his place, fighting monsters tends to be like this. Especially those immune to regular weapons.
  • Feel No Pain: Witchers under their elixirs and everyone else under drugs, but it's more dangerous than helpful - characters may exceed their limits and end up with even more wounds. Oh, and pray for anesthesia when drugs start to wear off and your open bone fracture hasn't been treated.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: The trait Race hater makes the player's character like this. Unless a test of Cold Blood is passed, characters with this trait will lash, sometimes violently, against the chosen race.
  • Fictional Holiday: They are related, either with important days in history, or are religious events related with solstices, while there is no equivalent of free Sunday.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Mostly averted.
  • Final Death: Just like in the books and short stories, dead is dead - you can't resurrect anyone.
  • Five Races:
    • Stout - Dwarves.
    • Fairy - Dryads, at least the born ones.
    • Mundane - Humans and half-elves.
    • High Men - Nilfgaardians, witchers and elves. Biologically speaking, Nilfgaardians are like all other humans.
    • Cute - Halflings and gnomes.
  • Flavor Text:
    • There are many quotes lifted from the short stories and saga, often as an explanation from where the authors got their idea. Some monsters were only mentioned in the saga, which led to the brilliant description of "ornitodrakon" - "This could've been an ornitodrakon(...)". There are also flavour examples in expansions, all of them being Shout Outs toward politics, history and pop-culture, both international and Polish.
    • Almost all examples of mechanics in action are made using three recurring characters: Straight Man-type mercenary Svarte, Spoony Bard Jezkier and Gentleman Wizard/Inept Mage Perignon. Sometimes they are joined by priest Groam and witcher Cormac.
  • Forest Ranger: An entire race of them, in archer flavour.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted. Projectiles, spells and signs will hit, hurt and kill whatever ended up as their final target.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Dryads may or may not wear some sort of camouflage gear. Which is more or less all they wear. Then again, their preferred tactics are ambushes and stealth attacks, so it's not that easy to spot them naked.
  • Functional Magic + Magic A Is Magic A: Magic is described as operating on scientifically explorable principles, with reliable and repeatable effects of every action. Which gives many opportunities for Mundane Utilities. Even if the spell is cast in the wrong way, the mistake will have roughtly the same result every time it's made. Rules like no resurrection or no time-travel are also in place.
    • On the other hand, priestly prayers were poorly defined, and in essence were just a supplication to the deity - who could agree or not.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Dryads.
  • Game Master: Gamemaster?! You mean, "story-teller"!
  • The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: That's how Rule Players consider any GM who is actually playing by the book... and the book advises to rarely use mechanics and encourage story-telling instead of rolls - especially when the core rules of the game are mutually exclusive.
  • Gender Is No Object: Wizards and sorceress have the same rights and are treated equally, but they are trained in two gender-separated schools, themselves apart by hundreds of miles. As you may notice, this only covers mages. Meanwhile, women are clearly subjugated in society as a whole.
  • Genre Popularizer: While there was a place for tabletop RPGs in Poland for the whole 90s, it was a very small niche, percieved as costly entertainment for well-off nerds and aging hippies. It took The Witcher and first edition of Wild Fields (based on Sienkiewicz Trilogy) to make RPGs truly popular, as those were Polish games based on Polish media property that happend to be known by just everyone and thus much more familiar than any other setting.
  • Geometric Magic: The most powerful spells are in the form of a ritual and they require a lot of diagrams to be drawn on the ground.
  • Gladiator Games: A popular form of entertainment in Nilfgaard.
  • Glamour Failure: Applying silver to natural shapeshifters usually reverts them to their true form, which tends to be butt-ugly. Or at least it will give them a severe allergic reaction, which doesn't look good either.
  • Global Currency: Inverted. Every nation is issuing its own currency, often with different scales and sub-units made of different materials of different purity. Which leads to a serious mess when travelling between them. Banks are evaluating everything in denars - a unit of pure silver of a certain weight, which is used as currency in international trade and to cover travelling cheques in local currency. That said, it's possible to pay bills in the currency of another country, but requires someone to do the Math... or overpay.
  • Gone Horribly Right/Wrong: The demo teaser version. The intention was to get more attention toward the game and provide a sample of a unique, new and home-made game that can easily compete with imported ones. But since the franchise was at the peak of its popularity, everyone knew the setting already, so no fluff was needed. The incredibly easy mechanics, based on d6 dice that everyone can easily get didn't really need much more to be fully playable. Oh, and the teaser as part of its marketing campaign was subverting Crack Is Cheaper by a tag-price equal to 3 bucks for the book. The effect? The game did became highly popular, but the source book sold below estimated numbers, while the teaser run out of copies long before the official premiere of the game. Add to that the rise of wide access to the Internet in Poland and the source book ended up with more pirated copies than bought ones, even if it too subverted Crack Is Cheaper.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Witchers and Kreve's clergy are this trope personified, since both are dedicated to the eradication of evil with brute force and fire.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Druids, Melitele's clergy and younger witchers tend to be like this. Just remember that while friendly, they can also kill your character without much effort.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Most basic hand-to-hand combat boils down to this. Advanced combat maneuvers involve lots of grappling, joint-locks, takedowns and kicking every part of the body that can be easily broken.
  • Good Pays Better: Averted, since the setting is what it is. Creating a racist, bigoted outlaw with a Hair-Trigger Temper and a nasty knack for needless torture not only provides you with lots of additional Stat Points during character creation, but such a character also perfectly fits in to the setting. On the contrast, playing as a goodie-two-shoes other than a Knight in Sour Armor is an almost guaranteed way to get strange looks from NPCs and gives you no advantages.
  • Good Shepherd: Priestesses of Melitele and Freyja are these by default, as their religions emphasis compassion and goodness. Less militant priest of Kreve can also count.
  • Grappling with Grappling Rules: Averted. Grappling is just one of the hand-to-hand maneuvers, so performing one goes under the same rules as any other attack. To get away from it, it only takes a standard check of either Acrobatics, Flexibility or own Unarmed combat. Clean, simple, reliable.
    • Expansion added few other maneuvers that require to grapple your enemy first or automatically apply grappled status if successful.
  • Groin Attack: As a combat maneuver for Unarmed combat. Not only does it deal bonus damage, but the unlucky enemy must pass a test of Vigour or he will be knocked out for one round. Of course it works only on male opponents.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: Humanity versus dryads. Since dryads are not human, protect a primeval forest that can be cashed in on, and tend to kidnap girls to fill their ranks, humans treat them as monsters and gleefully kill them whenever possible.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Dryads get very high starting Shooting skill for free and are one of only two races without any starting melee skill.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Half-elves have it really hard, almost always between a rock and a hard place. Depending on their mother's race, they are treated badly by either humans or elves. The latter are more pragmatic, as they seek as much offspring as possible and thus accept half-elves. Meanwhile humans treat them as yet another race of non-human freaks, especially when elven heritage is highly visible.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Half-elves are the most obvious case. Dryads use human, elven and half-elven males for fertilisation, but the offspring is always a dryad girl.
  • Healing Factor: Downplayed, but still present for witchers. They don't magically heal on site nor regrown cut limbs, but as part of their mutations they can, in certain circumstances or with proper care, heal three times faster than normally. Given that the healing system runs on Reality Ensues and going back to full health can take months, this is quite a feat.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Naturalised dryads are human women in their teens or almost an adult when conditioned with the Water of Brokilon and bam, they are dryads, with almost no recollection of their former lives. Then you realise they were kidnapped from some village or lumberjack camp right next to the Brokilon, so they will shoot down their own family at the first chance... that is, if their family wasn't killed already.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted. Combat mechanics list four groups of melee weapons: knives and daggers, lighter weapons, regular weapons and two-handed weapons, with damage related to each group as a whole. Swords are in "regular weapons" and thus deal d6 damage, but so are cutlasses, axes, maces, heavy clubs, short spears and many other things you can handle with one arm.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Duén Canell, known also as the Place of the Oak. Heart of the Brokilon, "capital" of dryads. Getting there without their permission and escort is simply impossible.
  • Hidden Weapons: The expansion covering espionage added two of them: a mini-crossbow lifted from the saga, and boots with hidden blades.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Averted for anyone who isn't a witcher and Zig-Zagged for them. The healing process takes weeks under professional care and months without it. Eating food won't do you any good aside providing nutrition. The only expeption is witchers' immunity to most known diseases, which allows them to gorge themselves on rotting meat without any bad effects. They can also use their highly toxic elixirs to restore stamina and a very small amount of Arcane Points, but that's all.
  • Hobbes Was Right: Only countries ruled by tyrants (benevolent or not) seem to avoid problems with infrastructure, fiscal system or governing in general. Whenever nobles are granted privileges, mages gain new rights or simply some political freedom exists, things spiral into feudal anarchy or worse.
  • Hobbits: You mean halflings? The race has traits both of Tolkien's hobbits and Dungeons & Dragons' halflings. It's not helping that halflings and hobbits can be referred to with the same word in Polish (niziołki) and that's how they are adressed.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Not counting superstitions and what some priests believes, holy symbols do nothing to monsters. Unless they are made of silver and the monster in question is hit with them repeatively.
  • Homefield Advantage:
    • Humans start with Knowledge: Home area, which provides them with additional informations about the surrounding area of their place of origin. This may range from the topography of some woodland to the configuration of streets in the chosen city.
    • The only way to beat dryads in Brokilon is to bring superior numbers of seasoned fighters. And by superior it means at least 10:1 ratio, so your typical hansa is virtually powerless.
  • Hopeless Fight: Dryads have been waging one with humanity for decades, if not centuries. It's so hopeless that it can't even be called a war. It's clear for everyone how one-sided it is, but that doesn't mean dryads even considered going gently.
  • Horny Vikings: Humans who arrived in what's now the Northern Kingdoms were clearly these. The Skellige Isles are a nation that still lives by "the old ways", with means as many references to stereotypical vikings as possible.
  • Horsing Around: Skill Riding is not about the ability to ride - it's assumed that everyone in the setting can do that. Instead, it's used every time the rider forces the mount to do something special, stupid or outright suicidal.
  • Hot-Blooded: A calm dwarf? You mean the one who's too drunk to react?
  • House Rules: The authors heavily encourage this, pointing out that their game and rules can and sometimes even should be changed to enhance the gameplay. They also discourage doing everything by the book, since it can kill the creativity of both players and the GM.
  • Human Sacrifice: Coram Agh Ter has a reputation of demanding these. But not in the standard way, on an altar's offering table, since he's the god of sudden death.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The chapter devoted to describing humanity as a whole nicely sums it up in its title - "Humans: Acquisitive and Brutal".
  • Humans Are Divided:
    • Not counting two (or three if you ask dryads) exeptions, all countries are made and mostly populated by humans. Said countries tend to wage wars between themselves more often than not and hate each other's guts. Then there is society as a whole, with nobles playing their own games of particularism and political deals are always under the shadow of Capitule, pulling strings to achieve more profit for mages. When Nilfgaard soldiers reached the borders of the Northern Kingdoms, things only get worse.
    • Elves learned the hard way to never, ever mess with humanity as a whole. While humans are divided, they also have unprecedented racial solidarity, putting their race (or at least country) before anything else. But after the common foe is defeated, they start to wage wars between themselves again.
  • Humans Are White: Having Horny Vikings as your ancestors tends to have this effect.
  • Humans by Any Other Name: We're dh'oine for the elves and other users of Elder Speech.
  • The Hunter: Witchers. They are rised and trained for only one purpose: track, find and kill monsters that are dangerous to humans. That's also their actual job.
  • I Shall Taunt You: One combat maneuver in Unarmed combat is a special kind of dodge. When it's successful, you make your opponent look like a clumsy and pathetic wimp.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: All old priestesses of Freyja, since they are picked as teens by merit of their beauty, and only the most beautiful girls presented during the initiation ceremony are chosen.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The difficulty of rolls is not only scaled, but also listed with appropriate names, ranging from "no sweat" through things like "for kids" or "serious" and ending with "heroic deed".
  • Illegal Religion:
    • The Cult of Coram Agh Ter. Expected, given the nature of the religion and its deity.
    • Within the small area under Novigrad's rule, the Cult of the Eternal Fire is the only legal religion. Praising any other deity or preaching any other religion is forbidden, or the local inqisition will get you.
  • Immune to Arrows: If some monster is immune to regular weapons, it's automatically immune to all kinds of physical projectiles. Arrows won't even scratch dragons, unless aimed for softer bodyparts.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Averted. Not counting most basic mooks, dedicated rangers should have a high enough Perception stat, Shooting skill, or both, allowing them to effectively use their weapons. And don't forget about dryads.
  • Implacable Man: Nosferates are practically unstoppable and unkillable. Even if you somehow "kill" them and chop them into pieces, they will still regenerate after a few years or decades. Pray to be dead by that time, because they might come for a visit.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: A few combat maneuvers, like taking down flying arrows.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Whips, both those made by dryads from vines, and those with spikes.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • 5 points in the Shooting skill, combined with a few traits and perks, leads to this. All you have to do is live long enough to get it all...
    • Starting trait "Hawk-eye" alone grants such skills. Not only do all rolls based on Perception (including Shooting) have lowered difficulty, but distance penalties are halved.
  • Improvised Weapon: The general rule of improvised weapons is very simple: if your characters can lift something and swing it, it's a weapon. Be it a throwing crossbow, two-handed bench seat, or a nearby dwarf.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The Witcher: Game of Imagination by Andrzej Sapkowski is the full title of the game. Players and Witcher's fandom couldn't care less, since the game is usually just called Witcher or now Witcher - Game of Imagination to distinguish it from the video games. Sapkowski's involvement at best was very limited - the only mention of him is the title and a small note after a page full of credits simply stating "Based on the works of Andrzej Sapkowski". On the other hand, he worked with MAG Publishing House for many years and it should be noted that he's a well-know critisizer of the Choose Your Own Adventure genre for its lack of real freedom, as well as a supporter of the Wide Open Sandbox approach to Tabletop RPGs instead of folowing stereotypes and archetypes. (Which the game tried to implement as much as possible in it's rules and pre-existing setting.) Sapkowski did write his own small RPG before.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Naturalisation of human girls into dryads can be treated as one, and it's downright horrific: after drinking the Water of Brokilon, they fall into a state of catatonia or convulsions for a few hours, while their memories are wiped out. They experience vivid hallucinations for the duration of the process. It's not entirely clear if their memories are simply removed or are rewritten into those of a dryad.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: Elves. There are also dryads and mermaids. A few kinds of monsters are capable of disguising themselves as such. Of those, mermaids are the least vicious ones.
  • Insistent Terminology: Many. To name a few: story-teller, Vitality, Points of Proficiency, Arcane Points, hansa and many, many other, as was the custom in the 90s and still is in any Polish tabletop RPG.
  • Instant Waking Skills: The trait Light sleep allows the player to roll against a very easy test of Perception whenever something produces conspicuous sound, and a single success is enough to wake up instantly.
  • Interspecies Romance: Half-elves that were not concived by rape came from these. Subverted with dryads: they use human, elven and half-elven males for reproduction, but it's just for procreation and without any feelings.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifter: For starters, lycantropy works this way, with a bad case of The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body. There are also spells dedicated to turning someone into another living being (albeit never bigger than the original form... but smaller ones are somehow possible), or packing them into an inanimate object.
  • Invulnerable Horses: Averted, which is very important when fighting mounted enemies. Any rider gets +2 to defenses to what he normally has when the horse is moving, meaning at least 6 defense in total and usually only legs of the rider can be attacked. The horse, on the other hand, is locked at 4 Physical Defense, no matter what, so targetting it is the only sane way to brough the rider down.
    • Horses that aren't provided with proper care in turn give their riders +1 to difficulty of all tasks. If they are tired, it comes with another +1 (and +2 if it's charging). If they are pushed too hard, they might start to resist at best. At worst, they will die out of exhaustion.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Averted. Hastily used tortures are almost guaranteed to kill the interrogated person, not to mention provide barely any information.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Humans, thanks to Humans Are Average being firmly in place.
  • Javelin Thrower: Javelines are relatively weak, dealing the damage of a regular melee weapon and with limited range, but unlike most other ranged weapons they can also be used in melee combat.
  • Kill It with Fire: Excluding some dragons and vampires, there is not a single creature in this world who's resistant to fire. And even they don't like being set on fire.
  • Killer Rabbit:
    • The cockatrice is a turkey-sized mix of lizard and pheasant, looking mostly like the latter. Doesn't sound intimidating? If you aren't careful, it will sneak up on you and peck your kidney or spine with a single strike. One success more than required, and it will reach a vital organ with its peck, dealing an additional 3d6 damage and another d3 from bleeding each round. That's enough to kill or incapacitate a character. To make matters worse, it has enough Sneaking skill to easily ambush your character, lowering defences to almost nothing and thus making it even easier to strike a killing blow.
    • Echinopses are almost like porcupines. The only difference is that they can shoot a few of their spines for a very short distance. If those spines hit anything, they break and migrate deeper. It's not only painful, but also requires an operation or magic healing to remove them. Untreated, they'll eventually kill your character.
  • Knight Templar: More militant priests of Kreve are like this.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Free elves (those living away from human settlements) tend to be irritating, because they always think to know better. Especially when they don't.
  • La Résistance:
    • Scoi'a'tel percieve themselves as such. The truth is complicated.
    • Nordlings' different resistance groups during the war with the Nilfgaard Empire, ranging from thugs posing as such to full-scale guerilla divisions made of remnant armies from conquered countries.
  • Lady Land: Depending who you ask, Zerrikania might fall under this or not. By Nordlings' standards, it's a tyranny of Straw Feminists, but given Nordlings' attitude toward women and anything different than their own culture, it's obvious that they're wrong. From the point of view of other races and Zerrikanians themselves, it's nothing more than a centuries-long tradition, with no opression towards men or gender favourism involved. This subject also divided players. Some of them point out that since the article was written by a woman, it must be Straw Feminism. Other just shake their heads in disbelief of such accusations. Let us leave it as it is.
  • Lady Legionnaire Wear: The archer drawn in the section devoted to bows wears one. By the game mechanics, they work just like any other leather armour that covers the legs.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Together with As You Know, they are advised by authors as a way of cueing players about all the stuff their characters should be aware of thanks to their Stats or skills, regardless of how improbable, ridiculous or simply made up those things are.
  • Land of One City: The Free City Novigrad is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. There are also numerous small states and backward areas that have a single city, resembling the way how Italian city-states worked. The term "city" by itself is often very generous.
  • Large Ham: Dwarves have it as their hat.
  • Lead the Target: Not doing so provides an absurdly high penalty for hitting running creatures (humanoid or not) and cavalry. There is even a special combat maneuver designed for leading your targets, which nulls all possible penalties but takes a round to use.
  • Lean and Mean: Elves are slim, ephemeral, and tend to be utter jerks or just plain monsters more often than not.
  • Les Collaborateurs: This is how Scoi'a'tel treat any non-human race that peacefully coexists with humans. Because it's better to bully humanity. Not that it previously put elves on brink of extinction or something...
  • Lethal Joke Character: Halflings. Small, pudgy humanoids who act somewhat childish and have the well-earned reputation of being gluttons. They've got a severe cap on maximum Strength and Movement. But watch out when they start throwing things. Or use slings. Or dodge.
  • Lie to the Beholder: Illusions of all sorts work this way, unless it's a dragon or a cat, as they can't be tricked by mere illusion.
  • Light Is Good: Or at least it repels some monsters and wild animals.
  • Lighter and Softer: The source book and most of the setting is like this towards the saga. Many things are toned down, while others are turned up to create more a adventure-friendly environment. But there is also the expansion about Nilfgaard. It's players' choice which version they prefer. The adventures, obviously, were patterned after Sapkowski's short stories, often being deconstructions of fairy tales.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Witchers' Splat requires that the player take many Statistics on minimal level, creating a durable, fast and able fighter in the process. Combined with skills granted for free, they land in the Purposely Overpowered category.
  • Limited Loadout: Strength is calculated into Carry Weight and Maximum Carry. Taking more than Carry Weight will give you some serious encumbrance penalties and it's impossible to take more than twice the Carry Weight of equipment. Maximum Carry is considered as weight characters can lift above their head without suffering hernia, muscle strains, and other injuries.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted. Part of it comes from the setting, part from game mechanics, but the most important factor were the authors' annoyance with such mechanics. In a sense, everyone is quadratic, since the difference of a single point in any skill is well beyond linear profit.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: All of them were lifted from the short stories and saga, so it's not the fault of the game authors.
  • Living on Borrowed Time: Sufficiently high Construction and Vigour allows you to live a few rounds longer in certain situations. If your characters are really lucky, the mage in the party will be still alive and with enough Arcane Points to patch things up, allowing you to survive the whole thing.
  • Load-Bearing Hero: The picture neatly placed next to the paragraph on how Maximum Weight works contains a human male holding a collapsing cave roof, while an elven maiden is crawling between his legs to retrieve a fancy-looking cane from the rubble.
  • Loads and Loads of Rules: The whole concept for the game came from the idea of averting this trope and making the game as intuitive as possible, with as much story-telling involved as possible. It worked brilliantly.
  • Loan Shark: The general rule of doing bussiness in Novigrad is to never, ever take a loan, unless it's from a certified dwarven bank. Or Pastry Credit Union "Torte".
  • Longevity Treatment:
    • Mages are able to stave off aging, to the point where the life expectancy of the average human wizard or sorceress is around 200 years.
    • Thanks to their mutations, witchers will still be in their prime well after their 100th birthday, while not even looking half of their age.
  • Low Fantasy: So low that it could easily pass as a 2 on Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness.
    • On the other hand, the fighting mechanics are firmly Heroic Fantasy, at least when your characters manage to live long enough to raise their Stats and skills at level 4 or beyond. After that, things like catching arrows, blocking numerous attacks with a single move, disintegrating your enemies with a mere look at them, or shooting a rider off a galloping horse against the gale wind become a norm. And it's fun.
  • Luck Manipulation Mechanic: You don't want to get 1 on a Fate Die, no matter what. On the other hand, critical success is sometimes the only way to actually do certain things if your character stats or skills are low.
    • There is a small insurance during fights in case of critical failures or to enhance critical hit chance, but outside of a fight you can't do anything to prevent such failures. All you need to do is declare using Combat/Arcane Point during your Hit Roll and you can add it to the outcome to chosen dice, one point per dice. This may prevent getting 1 on Fate Die, may give additional successes, or turn the attack into critical.
    • Traits Lucky and Jinx are all about this trope. Lucky makes every 5 on Fate Die to work as a critical success, while Jinx makes every 2 a critical failure. They are not mutually exclusive and take or give the same amount of points during character creation, allowing you to effortlessly pick both if you feel giddy.
    • In short, what Stats you have don't really matter after level 3 or so - what matters are the Fate Dice.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shields are extremely useful. They are the easiest way to get higher physical defense ratings (other ways require either grinding your skill or stat), soak damage and are the only conventional way to block projectiles. They can also block certain spells and the special attacks of monsters (but after the later they are usually destroyed).
  • Made a Slave: Nilfgaard uses slaves on a regular basis, so even debtors can end up being sold on the slave market, Gladiator Games included.
  • Made of Iron: Witchers in their fluff. Technically speaking, they must start with at least 3 points in Construction, giving them extra Vitality and having more points than many players would usually put in this stat.
  • Magic Knight: Witchers are these by trade - they are created to fight monsters with swords and simple telekinetic spells known as signs. And any mage who wants to survive in this world should arm himself and learn to use his weapon.
  • Magic Misfire: Effects of failed spells may vary.
  • Magical Gesture: Almost all spells require gestures, to the point where Spellcasting is a Dexterity-based skill. By contrast, most of them don't need any special component and half of them are wordless.
  • Magikarp Power: All skills work under this principle:
    • The difficulty of rolls is lowered by the skill, so with a single point it's almost good for nothing, while at 4 and 5 standard actions are automatic successes without needing rolls whatsoever.
    • All fighting and magic skills provide 2 Combat or Arcane Points for each level of related skill, which is the easiest way to get more of them. And the Points themselves can be used to further enhance your hit rolls.
    • Melee fighting skills not only allow you to hit your enemies with ease, but also makes it harder for them to hit you. With a measly level 3 of Unarmed or Armed combat your character is virtually immune to the attacks of random mooks.
    • With Alchemy at 1 your character knows that ice, steam and water are all the same. By 5, he or she is one step away from creating the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Magitek: To the point where things as mundane as weatherproof capes are created with magic.
  • The Magocracy:
    • In the Northern Kingdoms, all adepts of Aretuza and Ban Ard pledge their allegiance to the Council and Capitule. The Council is a parliament-like institution, while the Capitule is made from the most prominent mages, leading and governing the rest. Wizards and sorceress are expected to be completely loyal. Council and mages as individuals have very strong ties with politics, local courts, and the precious stones industry. Bigger towns and cities are almost guaranteed to hold a resident mage as part of its governing body.
    • Subverted in Nilfgaard, where mages are trained by the state for the state and must pledge their allegiance to the emperor and no-one else. There is no special - not to mention autonomous - governing body for them, so mages are subjects of the same laws and customs as the rest of society.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Since the game world's dynamics are based on Fantastic Racism, inter-racial marriages are completely out of the question, being a guaranteed way to get killed by an angry mob during the next pogrom. Or even before a pogrom.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Kelpies, which look for an unsuspecting victim like floating sea-weed. Their whole body is a mass of fast-moving vines, attacking en mass and drowning or suffocating their prey.
  • The Man Makes the Weapon: The main theme of the fighting mechanics
    • In general, damage done by weapons (both rolls and the fixed part of it) is relatively low when compared to the bonus damage coming from higher Stats and skills. For example, a witcher or a professional soldier will deal about twice as much damage as a random mook, using exactly the same sword. And that's by just whacking someone with the sword, without any finess or purposefully-aimed attacks.
    • It's entirely possible to single-handedly beat a small pack of heavily armed thugs with a stick (not a staff, but a stick), as long as your character is good in Armed combat and has enough Agility to naturally dodge incoming blows.
    • Projectile-based weapons deal puny damage... unless shots are aimed for the head, unarmoured body parts or other weak points, which of course requires being a well-trained ranger in the first place.
  • Mana: Two kinds of it. Combat Points are used... well, for combat maneuvers and aiming, while Arcane Points are used for spellcasting. Witchers have a relatively high pool of both and as Magic Knights, they can use both types for combat actions and casting their signs.
  • Mana Potion: Inverted. Only witchers have access to anything remotely close to such potions, allowing them to regenerate part of their Arcane Points in no time. It's only a secondary purpose of those elixirs and they are extremely poisonous for anyone not mutated to withstand their toxic effects.
  • Martial Pacifist: You probably expect that the people from the Skellige Isles, as Expies of vikings, will have an Expy of some warrior god from Norse Mythology? Wrong. They worship the goddess of beauty and fertility, while kicking asses left and right.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Very hard and costly, but possible to do.
  • Master of None: Making a character with high Intellect or Will (but not both) can easily lead to such situation. Players are granted initial skill points divided into two sub-groups: for learning new skills and for increasing skills already known (this also includes combat maneuvers). Each point in Intellect and Will grants 3 skill points of both types. Thus it's very easy to start with a wide variety of skills, but in the same time very hard to increase them beyond starting 1.
  • The Medic: While there are no restrictions about skills and anyone can serve this role:
    • Hamadryads, a subspecies of dryads, are very proficient in herbalism and healing, both conventional and magical, as they are exceptionally well connected to nature. They get those skills from their Splat for free, but they can't leave Brokilon.
    • Mages trained in official universities take obligatory courses in alchemy, herbalism and healing. Creating a character with graduation as their background forces player to buy those skills on appropriate levels, seriously lowering the available pool of Skill Points.
  • Medieval European Fantasy: Shamelessly deconstructed, just like in the source material. The deconstruction is at it's highest in ''On Their Majesties' Secret Service" expansion, which deals with espionage in Bond-esque style.
  • Menstrual Menace: While Virgin Powers are not an entirely clear subject (check below), it's at least agreed upon in-universe that one can't use magic before "gaining an adult body".
  • Metagame: Since the fighting mechanics are so transparent, players may deduce the Stats and Skills of their enemies without trying to or even wanting to.
  • Metamorphosis:
    • The spell Triangle within triangle is this, combined with Hulking Out and Power-Upgrading Deformation. It permamently increases its subject's Strength and Construction by 1, while reducing Intellect and Agility. Not to mention changing them into an over-muscled parody of their former body.
    • If botched or purpousefully failed, Artifact compression will turn someone into an inanimate object with no way to turn back.
  • Minmaxer's Delight: Introduced in the first expansion, as you can now raise the amount of Stat Points during character creation by picking disadvantages raging from obesity to going berserk for no real reason, or buy powerful buffs by lowering the amount of Stat Points you get. Or do both.
  • Min-Maxing: Leading directly into Crippling Overspecialization and Glass Cannon characters. You can either create characters just above average, or badasses in a single stat and skill.
  • Monster Compendium: It spans almost 1/5 of the whole source book.
  • Moody Mount: Using one makes all rolls based on Riding harder.
  • Moral Myopia: Just about every race has its version of What Measure Is a Non-My-Own-Race.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Strigas have three sets of them. If that wasn't enough, zeulgs are a bulbous piece of meat that hosts tentacles and a huge mouth equipped with dozens of sharp teeth. Said tentacles have hooks that look conspicuously similar to teeth.
  • Morphic Resonance:
    • If Artifact compression is used in its most standard version, the subject of the spell will turn into a tiny, crude figurine made of the material used for compression.
    • Lamias can hide their snake-like body with ease. What will always reveal them is their forked tongue, fangs instead of teeth, and their inability to make sounds other than hissing.
  • Multishot: One of the most critisized combat maneuvers added in the expansions.
  • The Multiverse: The Conjunction of Spheres, a magical event that happened around 1300-1400 years before the setting, suddenly placed in this world monsters, magic... and humans. It's not entirely clear if elves arrived during the Conjunction or not.
  • Munchkin: The system is designed in such a way to discourage this behaviour. Sure, the rules are simple and easy to abuse, but not without certain consequences or a lot of time and work invested in your character.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: When combined with aiming and sufficiently high skill, basic attacks of any form allow you to pull things so spectacular that special combat maneuvers look drab and boring in comparison. Then there is the shield & weapon combination, which looks dull and hardly creative, yet thanks to a (more or less) realistic approach to combat maneuvers it's both practical and really spectacular in action.
  • Mundane Utility: Self-sharpening swords, weatherproof capes, bracelets that makes horse come to you no matter how far away you are, flying brooms and carpets, hats of invisibility...
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: The standard behaviour of humans, which the other races have a hard time understanding.
  • Name's the Same: Lamia - an illegal whip with metal spikes or a snake-like monster.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Witchers as NPCs. Dryads, especially when stealthed. Most monsters. It's easier to list what you don't necessary run away from.
  • The Nine Stats
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted. It gets progressively harder to hit even a stationary target with increasing distance. A few combat maneuvers for bows use the arc actively for the advantage of the archer.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Dryads don't develop any relationship with the males that impregnate them, treating it as procreation and nothing else. At least some of them outright rape still-alive lumberjacks and hunters.
  • No Name Given: As in the books, the actual landmass the whole game is set on is not referred to by name in-game. For convenience, it's called "the Continent" in the source book rules.
  • No Saving Throw: Zig-Zagged. There are no typical saving throws, but during bleeding or drowning (or more specifically, running out of oxygen) players must roll for their Construction and Vigour. If the throw is failed, their characters will instantly die.
  • No Sell: While wearing three layers of armour is heavily penalized, hardly anything remotely human can deal damage to such a target. On the other hand, most monsters and even normal predators don't have this problem, tearing or squishing the armour with its wearer inside. Some monsters themselves are big and strong enough to simply shrug away attacks.
  • Not Completely Useless:
  • Not So Different: Humans and elves. Both races are almost enirely made out of jerks, bastards and monsters. Both treat every other race with a smug smile of superiority, almost always undeserved. First thing both did after arrival to the Continent? Starting a war with the local population. Elves like to use every opportunity to point out how barbaric humans are, glossing over their own equally horrific deeds. Meanwhile, humanity is over-jealous of many elven traits, be it longevity, beauty, or magic powers. Which leads to constant conflicts, pogroms and wars.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: The mini-crossbow is designed to be used like this.
  • Obviously Evil: Scoi'a'tel are written in such way to make it clear to just about every player that there is nothing noble about their cause or methods.
  • Older Than They Look: Elves, witchers, dryads, dwarves, mages...
  • One-Gender Race: Dryads - a race of hot Action Girls. Their offspring is always female thanks to bizarre genetics.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Averted as a core rules. Two-handed weapons are two-handed weapons, end of topic.
  • One-Man Army: Stats of NPC witchers sum up at around 80-90 Stat Points. Meanwhile, with all possible Min-Maxing you can't start with more than 44 Stat Points, and raising them takes forever.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Intellect, hands down. In a skill-based system it controls your starting poll of Skill Points - including the ones you'd spend for your fighting skills. If you want to play as a melee, hand-to-hand fighter or use magic of any kind, Dexterity is this. On the other hand, Perception is used during shooting, to determine who attacks first, to spot and hear things, for dodging, and crossbows by themselves are the most powerful weapons in the game. Unlike the later editions of GURPS, all Stats cost the same.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted in normal situations and played with while under drugs. Going below half of your maximum Vitality starts to pile up more and more penalties. If that wasn't enough, taking sufficiently high damage to the limbs may render them limp or broken. Take too much and they are bite/cut/torn off or smashed into pulp.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Since monsters are unnatural creatures that came to this world during a magical event known as the Conjunction of Spheres, they clearly represent Chaos. Witchers are humanity's response to those monstrosities, so nominally they represent Order. Nominally, because Humans Are the Real Monsters and are much worse than all those creatures combined.
  • Original Position Fallacy: Lower ranks of Coram Agh Ter worshippers tend to fall under this, since they are usually some bored nobles or equally bored rich merchants, looking mostly for a thrill in worshipping a new, exotic deity.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: The list is long here:
    • Our Dragons Are Different: There are dozens of dragon-like creatures and then there are actual dragons (more than 5 different species of them). They like to hoard treasures in their caves. Dragons are intelligent creatures and ignore humans and other races, but will get aggressive when they want to get some riches. All of them will No Sell when in combat and are able to rip a whole party in an amount of rounds equal to the number of party members. Or one, if they stand too close. Aside from conventional attacks they can use magic to different degrees and all utilise telepathy (hence the superstitions that dragons know all languages).
      • White dragons from the Far North breath ice instead of fire.
      • Black dragons are native to marshlands and like to lounge in the mud, hence their coloration. They spit acid able to corrode any known metal.
      • Red dragons are the closest thing to "classic" Western dragons.
      • Rock dragons live, as the name implies, in rocky crags and hills. They are the smallest of all dragons and don't breath anything, but can turn invisible.
      • Green dragons are the most popular species. They breath stream of chlorine, so its effectiveness can be affected by wind and topography. Getting inside their lairs is an almost guaranteed way to suffocate.
      • Golden dragons are a Shrouded in Myth species able to shapeshift as they please.
    • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: They're also bankers.
    • Our Elves Are Better: They're long-lived, pretty, and skillful, and have developed a sophisticated culture, but they're not that much better in terms of morality. On top of that, they're a Dying Race suffering the fate of Rome, with humans playing the role of barbarians adapting their culture, or perhaps Celts ran over by the Romans (with Boudicca and all). There is a distinction of "free elves" and "the rest". The free ones are living in the wild on stolen scraps (because farming is beneath their dignity), while the rest stay in their ghettoes or try to integrate with other races.
    • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: They're good craftsmen, possibly better than dwarves at certain precise and complicated tasks, or those requiring theoretical expertise. Dwarves make excellent swords, but the best swords in the world were gnomish. They are said to be the aboriginal species.
    • Our Mermaids Are Different: Thanks to a few dashes of Slavic folklore, aside from typical western mermaids (human torso with fish tail) and nymphs (who dwell in the sea), there are also rusalki (think of sweet-water nymphs), vodniki (think of impish tricksters with a knack for drowning pranks) and utopce (think of ghoulish creatures drowning anything they catch). Not counting utopce, all the rest are intelligent races with friendly and playful natures.
    • Our Vampires Are Different: Where to start with? First of all, blood is like alcohol for them. There is also a clear difference between the 'low' and 'high' vampires. The lowly ones are no different from monsters and basically look like giant humanoid bats, while the high ones are the more familiar vampires, who can happen to be quite nice and friendly folks. Religious symbols do nothing to them and most of the 'high' vampires easily tolerate sunlight. They don't need blood to survive; it's simply tasty and strengthens them. There is some sort of middle ground, as creatures like the Bruxa are intelligent, but concentrate on sucking blood. Either way, when facing anything other than the low ones, run like hell, as they will No Sell most anything and will drink your party dry in no time.
    • Our Werebeasts Are Different: "Lycantropy" is a curse and a disease at the same time. Immunity to normal weapons and the stock weakness to silver are in place, but you still can just hack them to death. They turn into beasts only during the three nights of the full moon and are unaware of their actions during that time, or even of transforming at all. Also, the scent of aconite is said to repel them. While called "lycantropy", it covers many different species spliced with humanoid posture.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Averted. Real-life predators are as dangerous as fantastic monsters. And bears are only aced by dragons and higher vampires.
  • The Paladin: Witchers are a deconstruction of everything related to such characters.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Cult of Sun Disc from Nilfgaard. Being a state religion of The Empire has a lot to do with this.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Witchers tend to barely get paid enough to sustain themselves for a while.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Novigrad is a city-state of immense wealt, that holds half of the world's economy in its grip. But after all, it's just a single city with a comparably small population.
  • Player Party: The authors advise to never have less than three players. On the other hand, they discourage combining your party by countering the weaknesses and lacks of players' characters.
  • Plot Armor: Mechanics are designed in such a way that it's extremely easy to implement or take it off, depenging on the requirements of the scenario. The authors advise to use it to give a heroic feeling, or subvert it for an atmosphere of uncertainity.
  • Point Build System: This or random-generated stats. It's players choice which one they want to use. In the point-buy system the near-to useless Movement costs the same as the most powerful stat - Intellect. The first expansion added disadvantages and advantages directly influencing the amount of Stat Points players have on their disposal.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Blowguns by themselves deal a mere 1 damage (a slap in the face can't deal less than 2). The poison is what makes them so formidable.
  • Police Brutality: The aforementioned lamia whip is used by the Guards of the Eternal Fire, the police of Novigrad, as standard equipment for subduing crowds. It's entirely possible to maim or kill with a single strike of it. If that wasn't enough, lamias are illegal all over the world, Novigrad included.
  • Power Equals Rarity: Witchers' swords and any kind of overseas weapons.
  • Power Nullifier:
    • Dvimerite, lifted from the saga. A rare metal which nullifies any kind of magic and harms magic users. Mages are advised to stay as far as possible from it when casting spells - side effects range from severe nausea to painful death.
    • Silver is this for any form of shapeshifting. Depending on whom and how it is used, effects range from spell protection to offensive applications.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: There is an old technique of using children who are magic-sensitive but unable to cast spells as Sources - basically a living amulet full of easy-to-access magical power. It's rarely practiced in the time of the game setting. Not because of moral impact - it's simply not that effective. You must first find that special child, drag them with you all the time and they won't live very long. Not to mention that most Sources have no control over magic, but can accidently use it...
  • Private Military Contractors: Dwarves have a well-earned reputation of being reliable mercenaries, fighting for humans and/or the highest bidder. Unless it would require from them to fight their own kind.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Witchers are picked as boys, mutated with magic and toxins that could kill the entire population of a small town and then trained and educated for many years into monster hunters. Then they spend the rest of their lives protecting humanity from all kinds of beasts for meager pay and almost no respect...
  • Persecuted Intellectuals: Since all kinds of intellectuals - be they scientists, mages, well-trained priests or druids - usually preach such silly things as gender equality, democratic rule, protection of the environment, or that all races are equal and should work together, they are treated as lunatics at best. If they don't have good connections or wield some power themselves, things usually end up nasty for them, with exile being the least concerning.
  • Protective Charm: Amulets and charms are one of few ways to increase defences against magic. Witchers' medallions may also count, since they can detect magic and monsters, alerting he wearer in advance.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: If someone is lucky during a psychic attack.
  • Psychic Link: Any character can develop one with a horse thanks to Mundane Utility. Psychics tend to develop such links with people they know, met, or like. Or just random strangers.
  • Psychic Powers: They don't look that strong... until someone mind rapes your character.
  • Punctuation Shaker: Elder Speech, the language of elves, runs on this. It's inherited from the saga, to players' frustration, as it renders any attempt of more deep roleplaying impossible or outright unpronounceable.
  • Purposely Overpowered:
    • Witchers. They get almost twice the starting skills of other races. One of their skills, Knowledge: Monsters, allow them to fight all non-natural creatures with better results. They start with one of the most powerful melee weapons. They get innate defences against all kinds of magic attacks. They can use Combat and Arcane points interchangeably. Happens when you are a mutant created and trained to kill monsters capable of smashing you into pulp with a single strike. The authors encourage the "one witcher in a team" approach, or at least "one at a single time".
    • To a lesser extent, dryads. Just like in the books, they are capable of stealth in almost any situation and get absurdly high starting Shooting skill - just for the fact that they are dryads. They will also track you even faster than witchers. Oh, and their starting bow is the ultimate weapon for rangers. Sure, the damage and range are just above average, but unlike other high-damaging bows it doesn't require any level of Dexterity or Strength to be used, thus no Min-Maxing is needed.
  • PVP Balanced: Averted, as many aspects of the fighting mechanics (at least before the introduction of unrealistic combat maneuvers from expansions) are Truth in Television. Instant kills, shooting from ambush, fast bleeding, breaking the arms of opponents, cutting them off with your own weapon... the amount of dirty tactics that are actually impossible to block or counter is really long. And all of them are encouraged.
  • Rain of Arrows: The first thing that will inform you of being ambushed by dryads and probably the last thing your character will see. It's also possible to loose a few arrows in a single round using special combat maneuvers. With proper perks you can target them all as you wish.
  • Ranged Emergency Weapon: Armed combat is under Dexterity, while Shooting and Throwing are Perception-based skills, so this trope tends to be played very straight with dedicated melee fighters.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: A constant battle in the Polish RPG community around this system and its approach to mechanics and probability basically boils down to people who did read the manual and those who skipped everything besides the basic fighting rules.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Players of different systems often criticize the Witcher's fighting mechanics for being unrealistic. Obviously, there is no way you can die after just two chops from a battle axe, or by having a crossbow bolt shot right in your face! That's totally unrealistic!
  • Red Light District: Novigrad has one, fashionably called the Red Quarter.
  • Regenerating Health: One of the main ways to heal is waiting and resting under some basic medical care for a few days or weeks.
  • Ret Canon: Since Zerrikania is barely mentioned in the saga, let alone described, the article about it takes all the aesthetics (and their implications) from the TV series, where they were introduced for more exotic flavour.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The Trait Vengeful forces player to act like this. Unlike other temper-related traits, there is No Saving Throw against such antics.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Scoi'a'tel show up in the expansion about Nilfgaard. True to their other appearances, they are Always Chaotic Evil elven supremacists, whose official agenda is the total genocide of humans and any non-human race that wants to coexist peacefully. Unlike dryads, they are portrayed without any pity or remorse.
  • Ridiculous Exchange Rates: Stat Grinding is heavily affected by Diminishing Returns for Balance. For starters, you can't earn more than a grand total of thirty Points per whole scenario (which is a prize for the best player in the party - usually you end up with around 20 or even below) and you must pay everything up-front, which doesn't sound that bad. But:
    • Stats take fifty times your desired level and all previous levels in Points of Proficiency. So upgrading someting from 1 (and you can't have less than 1 in statistics) to 2 is 100 Points. Hoarding any higher numer of Points is simply inefficient and wasteful, so rising your stats beyond 2 (rememer that the scale for Stats is 1-5) is pretty much impossible. More - you can't rise them by more than a single point at a time and you must find an excuse why your character became better in that field, which is progressively harder to do with higher Stats.
      • It's hand-waved in the rules that it takes a really long time and lots of training to actually improve your body or mind, hence the price and justification.
    • Nothing beats combat maneuvers and high-end spells. Combat maneuvers cost ten times their usage price in Combat Points, so learning some basic stuff is around 20-30 Points of Proficiency, while all high-end moves and flashy actions are as far as 150 Points - that's right, the cost of upgrading your Statistics. Spells get fixed prices in Points of Proficiency, with basic spells around 25 and high-end ones at 100. In both cases you must first find an NPC or some form of manual that will teach you new stuff, which is not as easy as it sounds in this setting and usually costs a lot of money.
    • During character creation, each subsequent level of skill or Statistic costs more, in similar fashion to later Stat Grinding. It's generally considered more reasonable to start with more skills on lower levels than land directly in the middle of Crippling Overspecialization territory.
  • Raised by Natives: Sometimes humans abandon their children in or close to Brokilon. If it's a girl and survives until she's found, the dryads will take her and raise her as one of them. If it's a boy... (Dryads also actively kidnap young girls and teens for their ranks.)
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Quasirats are at least in size of a chicken, are hairless, have huge incisors and tend to eat regular rats for dinner. Or unlucky drunkards. Swarmed, they can overwhelm even a seasoned character.
  • The Roleplayer: True to its subtitle, the game is written in such a way as to encourage this type of behaviour. Many actions require the players to act like their characters in a given situation or to give a demonstration (like casting spells). First expansion introduced Points of Personality, granted for deep roleplaying, that are the only way to get perks.
  • Rule Zero: The only rule authors insist on following.
  • Rules Conversions: Many players of systems based on d20 tried this, some of them even on an official level. None of these conversions are even remotely close to being playable, thanks to Loads and Loads of Rules, which the original game is averting by default. There were also many attempts to change fighting mechanics, with similar outcomes.
  • Run or Die:
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training:
    • Depending on their choice, players can pick various disadvantages during character creation for additional Stat Points. Those disadvantages include things like Forrest Gump idiocy, inability to talk, or having a Motor Mouth. Then there are starting advantages, which cost you your Stat Points, so your overall pool of Points will be lower after picking things like Hawk-eye or Nerves of Steel.
    • Inverted with Uneducated trait - it gives you 2 more Stat Points... for a sizable amount of Skill Points.
    • Dryads are a race of Scarily Competent Trackers with Stealth Expertise, Improbable Aiming Skills... and nothing more. They are really awesome in their field, but outside of it they are even less competent than the average human child. They have literally No Social Skills, both in-universe and by the game mechanics.
  • Saintly Church:
    • The cult of Melitele. The whole church and its priests are an Expy of the Red Cross, and the only outright good religion in the whole setting.
    • The Cult of Freyja can be also noted, but it's rather small (limited to a single archipelago), and in many aspects similar to that of Melitele.
  • Scary Scorpions: Gigascorpions.
  • Scratch Damage: Subverted. Armoured humanoids and creatures can simply shrug away some attacks and weapons. In fact, wearing full plate armour with a shield can soak up to 9 damage, while regular weapons have d6 damage roll, so unless attackers are very strong or skilled, they will do nothing.
  • Screw You, Elves!: The Game.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: Being a Religion of Evil, The Cult of Coram Agh Ter had to turn into a conspiracy.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The game comes with few notable examples
    • Any type of more advanced bows, be them compound (adding Strength to damage), overseas (ignoring sizable part of armour) or those carried by dryads (not requiring specific level of any Stat). Each of them has some cool aspect about them in-universe too, usually about their origin or being outright custom made, but after all, they are just bows.
    • Fire Bolt, the most basic offensive spell. It just sends a bolt of fire toward target and usually is the starting offensive spell any magic users will get, but it's still magic and it still can kill a target in single shot. In similar vein, Aard sign used by witchers has amazing utility for something that can be described as a "Force push" and requires nothing else than proper hand gesture from just about anyone able to access magic power.
    • Most of combat maneuvers are just basic hand-to-hand moves or fencing, often bordering on Combat Pragmatism. They combine simplicity, effectiveness and yet are still flashy. Highlights include:
      • Painful stike makes target wince in pain for few rounds after being hit and is perfectly capable of finishing a fight without the need to cause any actual damage.
      • Combination of blows is up to three hits performed in single, quick sequence. Perfect for those who always wanted to be a boxing champ and even better for decking some tough guy during a brawl. It also adds +1 to a single dice of choice during Hit Roll, making it impossible to get critical failure and much more likely to get critical hit or at least some extra damage from the roll.
      • Disarm and Seize weapon are exactly what they sound to be. Suddenly very dangerous enemies can be rendered defenseless or with their own weapons pointed at them.
      • Intercept blow allows to dodge the blow and use the inertia of the attack against the attacker, instantly applying grapple.
      • Feint makes it much easier to land a hit, thus allowing to aim them without standard penalty. Or just overcoming defenses of superior foe, giving every underdog a chance. It's also the simplest fencing move in the game.
      • Both Rebound weapon and Rebound attack allow to intercept an incoming blow, send it off (which is what inate defenses and dodging do) and leaves the would-be-attacker open for counter-attack, without a way to block it now.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Lamias are capable of turning into Cute Mute girls... then they scale up and eat unlucky adventurers. Devourers (Zjadarki in Polish version) don't have to be mute, and tend to be very beautiful when disguised as young women.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Doppelgängers can change their shape and mass as they please, even if their true form is that of a midget. Hell, they can also replicate clothes and equipment. Golden dragons are even more extreme, since they can take any form they wish, while being the size of barn. Lamias in their human guise are about half of their original size. Meanwhile, spells allow you to turn into something smaller or roughly the same size as the original form.
  • Shield Bash: If learned how to do, it's as efficient as using a regular weapon, dealing d6 damage and with a chance to knock over your enemy. When combined with a perk allowing a second attack, it's devastating.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • When discussing armour and how it works by the game mechanics, a subchapter is dedicated into explaining how armour should be worn and how much time and work it may take to put it on or off. It even notes how coats of arms are fitted on armour.
    • Part of the fluff about Nordlings discusses many stereotypes associated with The Dung Ages. On the other hand, it was ripped from a book about this subject.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Your best friend against all kinds and types of monsters immune to normal weapons. Some spells and magic artifacts require silver for different purposes. Working defensive charms against curses are made of silver. Shapeshifters lose their powers when in contact with silver.
    • The last one can be exploited whenever character suspect someone to be a shapeshifter - just toss him or her a silver coin.
  • Slavic Mythology: A huge inspiration for more than half of the creatures, even more so than in the books. It's almost single-handly responsible for Our Monsters Are Different.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: Deliberate Integration. Some things (like witchers' capabilities) would end up as completely game-breaking if Perfect Integration would be used.
  • Sliding Scale of Turn Realism: Round by Round. There is also a clear distinction between rounds (no longer than 10 seconds) and turns (six rounds), which becomes very important when the duration of special effects is given.
  • Soft Water: Present or averted, depending on the height characters fall from and the depth of the water. After a certain height is reached, nothing will help.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: More open-minded humans will usually behave like this towards non-humans.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Subverted. Witchers and dryads start with one of the best weapons. Nothing stops other characters from buying exeptional stuff whenever they have money for that, or getting it by any other means. Or just crafting it by themselves.
  • Space-Filling Empire: Kaedven. Since the saga hadn't discussed how big it was, the authors used it to fill a sizable chunk of the map. It's simply big - the population is small, the land is mostly pristine forest and its political power is average. Many areas are under Kaedven rule simply because there is no-one else around to claim them.
  • Special Snowflake Syndrome: Witchers are supposed to be rare. Even more rare than dryads out of their forest. Cue fights between players who should be witchers in their party — there is a whole section in the chapter on storytelling devoted to solving this problem.
  • Species Loyalty: Humans' hat, which is their main power and reason why they are dominant - whenever someone or something is threatening them, they put all their issues aside and band together to face the dangers. To a lesser extent it also covers dwarves - they might be your best Private Military Contractors, Only in It for the Money, but don't expect from them to fight their own kind.
  • Splat: Races are close to this. Each gets its own starting skills. Some of them are the same for all races (like 1 point in Unarmed combat or Throwing), while some are race-specific (like dryads' 3 points in Shooting or witchers' 2 points in Knowledge: Monsters)
  • Squishy Wizard: You will end up with one if using Min-Maxing. Really, not worth it. Not to mention that Spellcasting and Armed combat are both Dexterity-based skills, so being a good mage is an open field for becoming a Magic Knight.
  • Stance System: One of optional rules covers offensive and defensive stances for fighters. They have mutually exclusive effects, so defensive rise Defence of your character, but makes attacks harder, while offensive lowers difficulty of Hit Rolls, but unfortunately also for your enemies. If used correctly, they can be completely game-breaking.
  • Stat Grinding: The only way to improve the skills and statistics of your character is to invest Points of Proficiency into them.
  • State Sec: Since Novigrad is run by clergy of the Eternal Fire, town guards are this combined with an inquisition. Very strict and brutal, which makes them universally hated, but at least the streets are safe(ish).
  • Status Ailment: The main reason why Unarmed combat and all the maneuvers for it are so dangerous. While the basic damage of brawling is almost laughablenote , it's perfectly possible to easily disarm someone, break their limbs, tackle them to the ground or retake their weapons mid-swing, while throwing them to the ground. Or just hit them so bad they will see stars for next few rounds. It's also perfectly possible to throw a sudden punch during a sword-fight, and due to the way how defences are counted, it will probably connect easier than the sword attack the enemy is expecting and trained to parry.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Sexism is something of a norm, but the extent of it ranges from race to race. Almost all of the women in human and dwarven (but then it's a forge, not kitchen) societies are expected to stay in the shadow, doing gender-related roles of their race. Other races treat genders more equally, while dryads are a One-Gender Race of Action Girls. Mages have it much easier, since their trade is far more important and respected than their sex. Action Girl characters, particularly those non-human, will raise a lot of interest in rural and backward areas.
  • Stillborn Serial: The second edition was in its early drafts before even all supplements for the first one were released and everything was going smoothly. In early 2003 there was even a small convention held by the team responsible for the game and... the publisher went out of the gaming bussiness soon after.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Turtledragons are big turtle-like creatures with very long necks. When they are swimming, usually only the top of their shell and head is above the water's surface, giving them the characteristic silhouette.
  • Stray Shots Strike Nothing: Painfully averted. Targeting anyone in a fighting group leaves plenty of room for friendly fire or accidental hits - such shots and throws are not only harder than normal, but scoring fewer successes than needed means the projecticle still hits, only someone else.
  • Suffer the Slings: Slings are on the weak side of damage - they use d3+1 for their damage roll (for comparison, next are javelines with d6 and short bows with 3d3+1). Which is at the same time balanced with being the only ranged weapon dealing fixed damage equal to twice the Strength of the slinger, making it the ideal choice for Unskilled, but Strong characters. Slings also surpass the ranges of all throwing weapons and smaller crossbows.
  • Surplus Success Bonus: Every time your hit/skill rolls end with more successes than needed, you can use them to enchance the final effect, be it more damage, lower cost of Combat/Arcane Points, better healing result, extended time of the spell effect, and so on. It can be really devastating when combined with criticals.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Averted. Lack of the Swimming skill simply makes any attempts very hard. Of course entering deep water in armour is practically suicidal.
  • Super Weapon, Average Joe: Crossbows work this way for anyone not blind and with just basic Shooting skill. If you are lucky or aim well, you can take down anything human-sized with a single bolt.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Witchers' medallions detect magic and thus monsters when they are around. Cats can be used to find otherwise too-weak-to-detect Places of Power.
  • Synchronization: Hamadryads with their trees. If either of them is hurt or killed, so is the other. Oh, and they can't leave Brokilon because of this.
  • Tail Slap: Often combined with a natural kind of Beware My Stinger Tail.
  • Taught by Experience: Your character can learn new combat maneuvers and spells by observing, analyzing, and then going through trial and error. It still costs you Points of Proficiency, requires a few tests based on different skills and stats, and takes much more time than normal training, but it removes the need for a teacher or manuscript to learn from.
  • TeleFrag: Inproper or instable teleports may kill you in different ways. Sometimes people emerge in pieces. Sometimes they emerge in the wrong spots, like underground, high in the sky, or in the middle of the ocean. In the worst cases, they don't emerge at all.
  • Telepathy: Possible by magic of different kinds.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: A magical version of them, ranging from unreliable ancient artifacts, to very stable links created by specialized mages.
  • Teleport Interdiction: There are many rules about opening a proper and reliable portal. First of all, their maximum safe range is around 100 kilometers - any further distance will hurt the accuracy of the teleportation. It's better to use "hook" for opening a portal. Hook is any object or person related with the place you want to travel, but if it's poorly chosen you may land in a completely different spot. Portals, even if closed, leave a trace that can be used to reopen the gate.
  • Tentacle Rope: Kelpies can do one thing to attack - tie and drown or at least strangle their victim.
  • The Theocracy: The Cult of Eternal Fire in Novigrad.
  • This Banana Is Armed: For a skilled combatant, anything they can lift turns into a weapon. Actually, for unskilled ones, too.
  • Thunderbolt Iron: Witchers' swords (those meant to kill humans) are made of meteorite iron and are in Infinity–1 Sword territory.
  • Torture Always Works: Defied. The effectiveness of tortures is rather low. They take a lot of time, tend to require some specialised equipment, and it's very easy to kill the interrogated person, even for a skilled Torture Technician. Meanwhile, the skill Browbeating allows you to gather the same informations by sheer intimidation.
  • Total Party Kill: Most of the real-world predators, especially when in packs. Anything bigger than humans. Anything more numerous than your party. Angry peasants tend to be more dangerous than a freaking dragon thanks to sheer numbers.
  • Training from Hell: Witchers spend many years in excruciating training before they leave Kaer Morhen. It's not even clear if an unmutated human could survive that ordeal.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted. Transformations of any type always take enough time to react and sometimes even interrupt, even if it will be a single round. The problem usually arises if you are noticing it from a first-person perspective.
  • Troperiffic: Just look on this list. And tropes exclusive to saga are not included.
  • Überwald: No, not Brokilon. Sodden, the land now held by Cintra, combines thick forest, infamous Miechun's Morasses and Angren Marshes with infestations of all kinds, types and sizes of man-eating monsters. It's not helping that in the past the region was regularly pillaged by Skellige pirates and now often changes ownership, leaving dozens of ruins - perfect nests and burrows for monsters. The place is seen as so dangerous that even witchers don't want to take "jobs" out there. Oh, and south of Cintra is Erlenwald, which pales in comparison to Sodden, but it doesn't need to be protected by law as a royal forest - people simply don't want to poach there by themselves.
  • Universal System: As long as the setting is low-tech or with really primitive firearms, The Witcher is just about perfect.
  • The Unpronounceable: Deliberately invoked with the names of Zerrikanians for laughs. But there is also a very simple principle of shorting them into three-letter long forms, containing a single consonant and the suffix "ea", so Alreaenerle becomes Rea and Alveaenerle will be Vea. Yes, they are not only nigh-unpronounceable, but very similar.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Strength is calculated into bonus melee damage - flat for unarmed combat and twice the Stat for weapons. In the case of weapons, the sheer force of impact is usually more dangerous than where it hits.
  • Up to Eleven: The normal scale of Stats is from 1 to 5, and 5 is aptly listed as "Legendary". Cue some creatures having certain Stats at 6.
  • Urban Segregation: Novigrad is divided into few quarters. The segregation is quite strict and enforced by the ruling clergy, thus the Red Quarter holds everything immoral: brothels, banks... and non-human citizens.
  • Virgin Power: In-universe there is a centuries-long debate if virgins can or can't use magic. Common people believe they can't, while mages neither deny nor confirm the superstition. It's up to players to decide, as the source book left the question open.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Golden dragons and doppelgängers can change their form and size as they please. Lamias can turn into Cute Mute girls, while devourers can take the form of young women or harmless old ladies. Some vampires can morph into different creatures. If the character agrees to be turned into something, the difficulty of a spell is much lower.
  • Walking the Earth: Witchers are doing this constantly, looking for monsters and pay.
  • War God: Refreshingly absent. Kreve is the god of expansion, but not warfare. People from the Skellige Isles worship Freyja, goddess of beauty and fertility. And the cults of dragons from Zerrikania are about wisdom and respect.
  • War Is Hell: The conflict between the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard looks like a competition for the most horrible war atrocity between Nordlings, imperial forces, and elven commandos. Whole regions are razed to the ground, sizable parts of the known world are turned into no man's land, summary executions are the only form of justice in place and most of the armies scavenge and/or pillage for food.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • With higher fighting skills comes lower difficulty, allowing you to get more surplus successes. Each of them can be translated into a fixed 3 points of additional damage.
    • Characters created with high Intellect are a meta-example. Higher Intellect provides more Skill Points during character's creation, allowing them to buy and train higher levels of more skills, but to rise Intellect you must first take those Stat Points from other Statistics.
  • Weapon of Choice: Specialisation, one of the perks, allows player to choose a single type of weapon (swords, axes, daggers, bare fists, short bows etc.) as their weapon of choice. Such weapons always deal 2 points more damage, difficulty during attacks is lowered, and combat maneuvers are less costly to use.
  • We Help the Helpless: Witchers and priests of some religions are this by trade... not all of them for free, to be honest.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?
  • When Trees Attack:
    • Oak-Creatures are rare, quasi-sentient oaks which are usually peaceful and stationary, but will defend themselves if someone tries to chop them down. And since they look like regular oaks...
    • Inverted with dryads. They are not trees or even plants, but can blend so well with their background that what even a keen observer assumed to be a birch or willow was in fact a stealthed dryad.
  • Whip It Good: The expansion about dryads introduced whips. Then the expansion covering Novigrad turned it Up to Eleven with spiked whips (lifted directly from a short story) and combat maneuvers for them.
  • Whoring: With the supplementary material from expansions, it's entirely possible to create starting characters able to take down anything on their way without the need for any Stat Grinding or effort. That includes taking down a dragon in one strike with a starting schmuck. The source book goes on considerable explaination why it's bad, breaks all the fun for the rest of the players, and how it will derail any kind of scenario beyond repair or will to continue.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Or at least they preserve their bodies in their mid-twenties or early fifties.
  • Wizarding School: There are at least three such institutions: the girls-only Aretuza in Redania, the boys-only Ban Ard in Kaedwen (half the known world away), and an unspecified university somewhere in Nilfgaard, probably coeducational.
  • Worst Aid: Healing difficulty is proportional to the amount of Vitality the patient is lacking. If unsuccessful, the attempt will harm the character for d3 damage, to show the incompetence of the healer. So at below 4 points in Healing, it's often better to do nothing besides dressing the wounds (which can be botched too), rather than risk killing the character or undoing the last day of treatment.
  • You Are What You Hate: Naturalized dryads will fight humanity to the death... while being brainwashed human girls and women.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: No matter which type of character creation was used by players, they must roll for characters' Fate. The outcome is checked in a predefined chart and noted in the character sheet. Story-tellers should use the Fates of players' characters during their adventures and to define outcome of different events.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters:
    • For the average human being, dryads are a monstrous race of Always Chaotic Evil women, kidnapping young girls for their ranks and being an obstruction for prosperity. From the point of view of druids, more enlightened people and their own they are the personification of Gaia's Vengeance and the last defense of Brokilon, an eons old forest every neighbourhood kingdom wants to chop down for profit.
    • Averted with the Scoi'a'tel. Their open goal is the total eradication of humanity (the dominant race) and every other race that is not supporting their "effort". The brutal and sadistic methods that they apply aren't helping their cause either. Non-humans hate them as much as humans, especially since the actions of Scoi'a'tel often lead to retribution in the form of pogroms on completely innocent non-humans.

Alternative Title(s): The Witcher

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