Video Game: Unwritten Legends
Unwritten Legends is a small Multi-User Dungeon. Unwritten Legends (or UL as it is more commonly known) contains elements of fantasy, historical fiction and steampunk mixed together in a way that manages to make it not seem schizophrenic or thinly spread. Set in a rough equivalent of Renaissance London, this game is extremely well detailed and well crafted with plenty of colorful characters to enjoy. This RPI is built specifically to enforce and promote roleplaying amongst the players. The game is currently in development, but with plenty of races and classes to choose from, is still a great deal of fun.
Tropes found in this game include:
- Automatic Crossbows: Played straight as an arrow. Automatic crossbows use a modern-style clip and have to be cocked in between each shot, but are significantly faster than mechanical firearms, normal crossbows, and stonebows.
- Arbitrary Gun Power: Damage is based on attack speed, so while guns do formidable damage, it still takes multiple shots to kill something. That is, unless you’re using a regular flintlock gun, of course, in which case the reload time is so long that DPS suffers greatly (with no damage increase over efficient guns), so you might as well use a longbow. Wheellocks also exist, but you might as well use them on yourself given their tendency to misfire and long reloading time.
- Petting Zoo People: Vulfen and Rehari are sentient, bipedal canines and felines, respectively. No they don’t wage war on each other, nor do they feel any particular unreasoning animosity toward each other. Stop asking.
- Magitek: The entirety of the Arcane Mechanist class is based on this, and Dhond rather exemplifies it, his opus being a machine that produces magical portals that can teleport and even cross dimensions. Yep, they have a stargate.
- Weapons Kitchen Sink: Seaxes, sabers and scimitars are wielded proudly beside (and against) rapiers, smallswords, guns and broadswords. Name a fantasy weapon and it probably exists somewhere. These can be culturally relevant, but given the fact that you just as often see a vulfen with a rapier as a human with a rapier, most often it seems to be that the player thinks it’s cool.
- Steam Punk: The Scientist class lives and breathes this trope, but it’s still rather muted.
- Gadgeteer Genius: All varieties of Mechanist
- Fantasy Character Classes: Every class in the game is on the list, though you’d have to look for some of them, since they’re not called the same things.
- A-Team Firing: Even the most advanced guns can’t fire beyond a single cell. Nor crossbows, nor longbows.
- Magic Versus Science: Both played straight and averted. It’s averted in that there is a variety of Mechanist that specializes in magitek, but played straight in that several wizards treat mechanists like they’re usurping them. It’s a minority opinion, though.
- Artificial Limbs: One character has a pair of artificial fingers constructed by a mechanist using golem principles. They apparently couldn’t be healed in the way that NORMAL chopped off limbs are, but this was succinctly handwaved. (The player decided to keep the fingers removed. There’s no real explanation for it.)
- Functional Magic: Of nearly every variety. Most are born with the ability to use magic to whatever degree, but it requires some study. (Of course, the combat spells seem simple enough, but why non-mages can’t use them is handwaved.)
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: With the exception of Icyndor, which is reported to be its own amalgamation of independent cultures, every nation on Thrael is a mirror of a real-world culture. Vash is an amalgamation of Asian cultures, Quesalia is Italy, Kessia is Britain, so on and so forth.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: Almost every big bad is an Eldritch Abomination, but the gods seem to prefer handing the squishy mortals some form of artifact and saying, “Go nuts” to stepping in and fixing it. Guess they don’t wanna miss their soaps.
- Every Japanese Sword Is a Katana: Averted. There are many Japanese swords, and katana are forbidden for non-samurai. Samurai not being a class but a social status also marks this up.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Platinum and gold exist, but they’re actually worth less than steel. Additionally, both are portrayed realistically in that they’re completely useless.
- An Entrepreneur Is You: The crafting system is still in the works, with only a few classes having a smattering of recipes at the moment, but player-run shops are on the list of things, and at least one mechanist has sold his/her work for profit.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Several players have these. They also qualify as a Shout Out to Assassin’s Creed, given that they’re of the exact same design. The triggering mechanism is (Of course), kept vague.
- Wolverine Claws: Called “Brrragas”, they’re a cultural weapon of the re’hari. They’re also switchblades, but the triggering mechanism is kept vague.
- What the Hell, Player?: The verb “Play self” triggers the response, “That wouldn’t be appropriate, now would it?” That’s just one example.
- Warrior Monk: The Qai Monks are a very religious bunch. They also have the power to beat you to death with their bare hands.
- Combat Medic: Empaths. You have to be careful with them. Not only can they just hit you, but they can transfer the hits YOU give THEM back to you. It also works the other way around. In other words, Empaths can just as easily make the bits fall off of you as stick them back on.
- Cool Sword: Let’s check: At least three have been made by a god, and most of the others are custom made and very cool looking. Additionally, the king owns a sword with the game’s Legendary Metal, siege gold, in it. There are other legendary weapons, mostly bought at auctions. These weapons range from guns to swords to hammers, some are enchanted, but all share one thing in common: They share the quality rating “Epic”.
- Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Averted. Getting hit hard enough in the arm or the hand will not cause you to drop your weapon. Get hit hard enough in that particular limb enough times and it will be rendered useless. Not that you’ll usually notice, as most people bleed out shortly after that happens.