YMMV / Dungeons & Dragons


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From the original game

    1st Through 3rd Edition Classes 

Assassin

Barbarians

Bard

Cleric / Priest

  • Game Breaker: So much so in 3.5 that CoDZilla (a portmanteau of "cleric or druid" and "Godzilla") used to be a subtrope page.

Druid

  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: If a Druid doesn't take Natural Spell at 6th level, it's probably been banned.
  • Game Breaker: Considered an even worse one that the cleric. Not only do they have access to similar spell progression, but they gain Wild Shape, which is more powerful than the entire Fighter class! In fact, in a setting where spellcasting was removed, Druids still remained midt to high tier due to this ability alone.
  • True Neutral: Prior to 3rd Edition, all druids had to be this alignment. Later editions required Druids to have at least one neutral aspect (Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good, Chaotic Neutral, or Neutral Evil.)

Fighter

  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Various Alternate Class Features both improved the fighter's overall power and gave it actual, unique skills. The two most beloved are the Dungeoncrasher and the Zhentarim Soldier — particularly since they can be used in tandem. Before those came along, a character with more than four levels in fighter was considered a Scrub; now, ninth-level fighters aren't uncommon.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: In 3.5, primarily. The preponderance of Empty Levels, generic fluff, lack of real features, and general incapability outside of combat give the Fighter something of a poor reputation among casual players and optimizers alike. One fan called it "a class two levels long for thugs."

Monk

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Monks need high scores in just about every ability to be effective. They need to stand still to use many of their class abilities with full effectiveness, but get lots of movement powers that emphasize mobility. And most of their powers are weaker than stuff that other people can easily pick up with cheap magic items or low-level spells anyway.

Paladin

  • Lawful Good: Paladins serve the gods of good, and must maintain this alignment. Between Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazine however, variants do exist for alternate alignments.
  • Lawful Stupid: Unfortunately, there are players who play this alignment when playing a paladin. And if they aren't, well, there's a chance a KillerDM or a Chaotic Stupid party member will make it their goal to force the paladin into a case of Stupidity Is the Only Option to get them to fall.

Ranger

Wizard / Magic-User / Mage

  • Creator's Pet: While Wizards are a well-loved class straight from the very first iteration of D&D, they're turned into this whenever Monte Cook's around.
  • Game Breaker: At high-level power play, a straight wizard played by a sufficiently Crazy-Prepared player is considered to be the most powerful class in the game. While they're more fragile than clerics and druids and can't tank, the arcane-exclusive spells (like Teleport) make up for it.

    Other 3rd Edition Classes 

Archivist

  • Game Breaker: Its spell mechanics are similar to a Wizard (a Game Breaker in its own right), and it has access to every divine spell (Clerics and Druids manage to be incredibly powerful with more limited spell lists). And the class has some useful abilities on the side. Every bit as potent as its fellow full casters. Not to mention, you can take Mystic Theurge (advances casting in two spellcasting classes) with both class's spellcasting tied to Intelligence, the most useful mental ability score.

Ardent

  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Because of how well-balanced and unique it was, the Ardent was one of the few fondly-remembered things about Complete Psionic.

Binder

  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Fandom find the other 2 classes in ToM to be awful, if not impossible to use. The Binder however is considered to hit the "Powerful enough to be fun to play, but weak enough to not be a Game Breaker", and easily one of the most supported non-core classes by homebrew (possibly the most outside of Tome of Battle).

Crusader

Divine Mind

Erudite

  • Game Breaker: It's one of the Big 6, and stands as one of two members of the Big 6 that can use both Arcane and Psionic abilities (the other being the Psionic-variant Artificer). The Erudite is nearly unmatched in flexibility, as you are able to spontaneously manifest any power you know (though there is a debate on how this is supposed to work due to poor wording).

Healer

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Due to its limited ability to do anything but heal, Healers tend to get a poor reputation.
    • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Giving them access to Sanctified Spells from the Book of Exalted Deeds gives them a fair amount of additional options in combat other than healing (which is perfectly legal by the rules of Sanctified Spells, as Healers are all good-aligned spellcasters who prepare their spells).

Incarnate

  • Chaotic Neutral: One of the four possible choices for an Incarnate character, and the weakest of the four (ranged-focus, but the developers kinda screwed up here).
  • Lawful Neutral: One of the four possible choices for an Incarnate character, and the one closest to being a frontliner.
  • Neutral Good: One of the four possible choices for an Incarnate character, can be played as a tank or as a pseudocaster via Use Magic Device. Has the best defenses this side of a Full Caster.
  • Neutral Evil

Lurk

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: While it is a Rogue with psychic powers, the Psychic Rogue is considered better due to not having their sneak attack rely on psionic focus. This class is still pretty good, but most people will point you towards the Psychic Rogue.

Psion / Psionicist

  • Game Breaker: Sits up very high, almost one of the Big 6, but not quite. On the other hand it wins the award for being the most accessible class for committing human rights violations.

Samurai

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The Samurai is like the Fighter, but with less options.
    • The Lawful over Good trait was another ''popular'' class feature.
    • A TW Fing Ranger outclasses a Complete Warrior Samurai. At least the Oriental Adventures one was decent! When a class is designed around one of the weakest combat mechanics...

Shadowcaster

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: The early levels are murder on a Shadowcaster. They aren't too powerful late-game either, but they are still capable of contributing to the party.

Soulborn

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: It ends up being the worst of the three Meldshapers. It's even weaker than a Core Paladin!

Soulknife

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Because you can't enchant a Mind Blade like you can a physical weapon, a Soulknife tends to do less damage than a fighter of equal level.
    • Also, see Samurai, "less options". Having the Whirlwind Attack feat without the ridiculous prerequisites is neat, though.

Swordsage

Truenamer

  • Game Breaker: This was the intention according to the Game Breaker page definition and it can at level 19, but instead it breaks the game by being poorly designed. This would be considered a Tier-Induced Scrappy except it literally is the only class not to be rated on the tier system for 3.X due to the simple fact that its completely incompatible with the rest of D&D. For starters, as it gains levels, it becomes much harder to use its core mechanics. Only by min-maxing to the extreme can it be viable, and the turnaround point is level 19, at which point it can contribute to combat.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Law of Resistance, which makes it harder to use the same utterance in a day, and the Law of Sequence, which makes it impossible to use an utterance again while an earlier casting of it is still active. If you've jacked up Truespeak enough to not worry about the inherent Game-Breaking Bug, one or both of these is going to be a serious problem in your near future.

Warblade

  • Replacement Scrappy: The warblade does everything the core fighter does better, and plenty of other things besides. This led some to complain that there was no reason to play a fighter anymore, outside of niche builds.

Warlock

  • Author's Saving Throw: Some believe the Hellfire Warlock prestige class was one of these; nearly all warlocks can qualify by its level, and the hellfire bonus puts to bed the most common criticism of a warlock — 9d6 damage at 20th level is piddley, but 15d6 in exchange for a tiny bit of Con damage can still pack a wallop.

    4th Edition Classes 

Battlemind

  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: The way Blurred Step and Mind Spike originally worked didn't make the battlemind a very good defender. This has been mostly relieved with the July 2010 errata.

    5th Edition Classes 

Ranger

  • Broken Base: The 5e development team released a special Unearthed Arcana revolving entirely around five levels of a completely-rebuilt ranger class. Opinions are divided between those who like the change, those who dislike it, but feel it's a good sign that the developers are listening to their feedback, and those who feel it is firm evidence that the game designers are just clueless when it comes to the ranger, fixated on mending things that aren't broken while ignoring the class's core problems.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Generally seen as the weakest 5th edition class. There are very few things a ranger can do out of combat that other classes can't do, and probably do better. In combat, they rely heavily on a very limited selection of spells, and stack up unfavorably against both fighters and paladins. And the mechanics behind their animal companions suck.

    Creatures 
  • Adaptation Displacement: Compare how many series' portray Bahamut and Tiamat as dragons. Now look up their origins.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Meepo the Kobold in 3rd Edition. This little lizard-dude, originally just a kill-it-for-stuff encounter in the adventure The Sunless Citadel, was so popular that he made an appearance as an NPC in at least one other adventure, featured in a web-exclusive article in which he became a half-dragon were-velociraptor, and got whisked away to another dimension in which he obtained a magical pump-action shotgun. Truly, Meepo is the pinnacle of koboldian awesomesauce. He even makes a cameo in d20 modern.
    • As far as races go, the Warforged from Eberron were very well received. The Shifters were also well-liked, but not as much as the Warforged.

      These two races (and Changelings) were put in as monsters in the first 4E Monster Manual, and Shifters were introduced as a playable race in the second 4e Player's Handbook. Warforged were made playable in any setting thanks to a free(!) Dragon article on Wizards' official site.
    • The Flumphs. Many gamers were happy when they brought them back in 5th edition.
  • Fridge Horror: The reproduction problems of faced by Lamias, Sphinxes, certain Templates, and quite a few other Half-Human Hybrid Mix-and-Match Critters. Averted in the case of Driders who are created sterile.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The complaints about 4th Edition playing like a video game certainly won't get any better when the corebooks have a playable race called the Dragonborn.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Several.
    • Asmodeus, ruler of Nessus, Ninth Layer of Baator. He is one of the oldest living things in the multiverse, controlling all of the Nine Hells and standing over every other devil. The gods fear him. He once instigated the Reckoning, an Enemy Civil War, just to root out the more dangerous of his foes... only to promptly step forward and force all of Baator to submit once it stopped being useful to him. His only reaction to Mephistopheles threatening to take his throne was an amused silence.

      His most epic moment was when he first came to rule the Hells, when the Gods sent him to punish those who had sinned, signing a contract to say that Asmodeus could do as he wanted with those souls. Shortly thereafter, the Gods noticed that rather fewer mortals were coming to their planes when they died, and more were going to Hell. They soon found out Asmodeus was deliberately tempting mortals to sin, and confronted him, saying that the contract did not give him permission to tempt mortals. He simply smiled at the gods, and said "Read the Fine Print."

      To add to Asmodeus's levels of magnificence, he is one of the few gods in Pathfinder that came directly from D&D, holds the key to the cage of a world eating god, and has a contract with all the other gods stating that they won't attack him, and in return, he won't open the cage.
    • Baalzebul, Lord of the Flies. Baalzebul was almost as magnificent as Asmodeus himself. He was a former angel who went to hell and did such a good job taking over that he completely removed all knowledge of his predecessor's name and identity from existence. He managed to control two levels of Hell, one himself and one through a viceroy, Moloch. Add to that, he actually had Asmodeus' favor. Unfortunately for Baalzebul, during that civil war he led an insurrection that tried to take Asmodeus down. He was thwarted when Mephistopheles' troops turned on the insurrection, and then Asmodeus punished him by changing his form from that of an angel to that of a slug. Baalzebul's still the #3 guy in Hell (behind Asmodeus and Mephistopheles), but looking like a slug demotes him from Magnificent Bastard to The Chessmaster.
    • Mephistopheles can be pretty magnificent as well. He rules the Eighth Hell, a frozen realm called Cania. After the Reckoning, he settled into his throne to brood while his court carried on around him, his voice only heard on the whispering winds until it seemed Mephistopheles had frozen in place. One of his court, Baron Molikroth, staged a coup against Mephistopheles and brought all his co-conspirators together in triumph. At which point Molikroth revealed he was just a false persona Mephistopheles wore, that his centuries of silence had been a cover as he tapped into the hidden power of hellfire (so hot it could even burn devils), and proceeded to scourge his court of all traitors. And this is only one of his more recent grand schemes, given one has to be quite the schemer to take and hold any of the Nine Hells in the first place, much less one of the deeper ones.
    • Graz'zt has about the same traits of intelligence and patience as Dagon, which let him control not one, but three layers. He managed to trick a goddess of wealth and trapped her, and he continues to survive even after her subsequent escape. He also manages to manipulate other demon lords like Yeenoghu into fighting his battles for him without drawing attention to himself.
    • The Demon Lord, Dagon. Like other Demons, he is Chaotic Evil. Unlike other Demons however, he is intelligent, rational, and above all, patient. He is reported to be the first Demon Lord spawned from the Abyss, and uses his vast knowledge to manipulate the minds of mortals and demons alike. Oh, and his alliance with Demogorgon, which makes him seem like The Dragon? It's heavily implied that their alliance is part of a greater scheme in Dagon's benefit, and in fact he plays a big role in the continuing feud between Demogorgon's Split Personality issue. (He only speaks to one of Demogorgon's two minds when giving advice.). Finally, if you look at him, you become terrified of the sea. Did we forget to mention that Dagon lives at the bottom of an Abyssal ocean? His very existence insulates him from retribution.
    • Another Magnificent (in this case) Bitch would be Lolth. She may seem insane but like Tzeentch, she is either that or very sane. She favors chaos and looks out for too much cooperation between drow but at the same time, she makes certain that they do not cause too much chaos. She looks on those who cause chaos in normal drow society with favor and she doesn't limit herself to evil ones, at that. She also orchestrated the deaths of several of her own children, to ensure that she'd remain as the sole deity of the drow, also being one of the main factors that could have lead to the Spellplague. When she went silent to the drow prayers for a long time, she used this time to reestablish herself as a new greater deity, moving the Demonweb Pits away from the Abyss and confirm it as its own plane of existence.
    • Pazuzu. He is known for coming in to aid mortals when they speak his name three times in succession. He can even grant a wish. All it requires it for you to take one step closer to chaotic evil. Being a Chaotic Evil Demon Lord, that's his modus operandi: tempting mortals to evil so he can devour their purity and innocence. As an obyrith, he is incredibly ancient, and he didn't survive this long by simply being tough; he did so by being cunning and knowing exactly how to manipulate his enemies, allies, and victims to his benefit.
  • Memetic Badass: The Tarrasque, which has become a byword for a nigh-unstoppable monster.
  • The Scrappy: Kender. No race in the entire Dungeons and Dragons franchise has inspired such sheer loathing among the playerbase as these stand-ins for halflings from the Dragonlance setting, mainly because the way that they are written encourages Chaotic Stupid behavior of the absolute worst sort. Many DMs take a dim view of anyone wanting to play a kender, and many players wish that they would just go away.

    Gaming 
  • Game Breaker:
    • Numerous in all editions, although 3rd edition is particularly famous for this, due to the sheer volume of various mechanical goodies, provided by its supplements, as well as the generally high power level of the characters. Notable in 4th edition for having at least two discovered before the game was released. Errata has fixed most of 4e's breaking stuff, but not all. Some examples:
    • Clerics, Druids, and prestige classes related to either had the best of being both linear warriors AND quadratic wizards … and aside from a decidedly lower-tier class selection, they were the only healers you could pick. If the Druid or Cleric stuck to healing, it didn't affect party balance. It was when the power gamer got his or her hands on them that it became a problem…
      • If they stick to healing, it breaks the game in the opposite direction. Attack and Damage scale up far faster the Armor Class and Hit Points in D&D. Playing a Cleric that is The Load isn't much better than playing one that that is the Game Breaker.
    • Certain builds were able to incur trillions of damage in one attack, at range. One low-level spell with a specific combination of metamagic feats would raze anything and everything in a 10-mile radius to the ground. And then there's Pun-Pun, a level one kobold with inifinite stats who can reach infinitely far, including across the planes, and can cast any and every spell an infinite number of times per day. Did I mention this kobold is more of a god (infinite divine ranks) than the actual gods?
    • Essentials. Not in-and-of themselves, mind you, and not so much if you're in an all-Essentials group, but consider the following. Prior to the release of Essentials, basic attacks were just that, basic. They were usually the weakest hitting things for damage dealers, and didn't have all the cool effects other powers did. Thus, classes such as Bards, Warlords and the like which gave out basic attacks like candy would only marginally influence the tide of battle. Now enter the Essentials, which are based around improving or replacing basic attacks: Slayers that wield 2-handed weapons that deal as much as 4 weapon damage on a single basic attack; Scouts that get granted one melee attack and are suddenly making 3 or more of them; latter additions give us Vampires that effectively become unkillable as long as they keep hitting, and the Bladesinger that adds a burst of various magical damage each time he hits. Yikes.
    • Erudites with the "Convert Spell to Power" alternate class feature. Regular Erudites can learn every psionic power there is and use them spontaneously for as long as their Mana Meters hold out. Spell-to-Power Erudites can do that, too … plus they can also learn every arcane spell in the game and convert them to psionic powers, which means they can "cast" them using the same mana meter system and ignore both arcane spell failure and expensive material components. A Spell-to-Power Erudite who can learn 9th Level spells is basically a demigod.
    • The Illithid Savant prestige class (although, honestly, if your DM lets you play as a mind flayer and also lets you take a prestige class clearly designed for NPC use, he deserves what he gets). Basically, the Illithid Savant is like Sylar, gaining the powers, special abilities, and even spellcasting of those whose brains he eats. (For extra cheese, eat the brain of a Sorcerer or Wizard who can cast Gate. Now if you want a particular ability, just summon up the creature who has it virtually at will.)
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: 3.5 Monks are noted for getting many abilites that are either done better with spells gotten much quicker (over 20 levels they get the ability to reduce fall damage, that's a first level spell for a caster or 2000 gold for everyone else) and don't synergize at all (Monks have one ability that makes them move fast, and another that requires them to stand still) to the point that when asked to optimize a Monk, most suggestions are to play another class. Truenamers also get a lot of flack for getting weaker as they level up as they need to meet an (already hard check) with a requirement that goes up by 2 each level, but you only get + 1 to make the check a level (Soulknife and CW Samurai also fall into this for similar reasons, but Monk gets the worst because it is "core" and part of the base game and truenamer is just that … egregious).
    • Complete Warrior Samurai deserves special mention in that is the absolute lowest Tier. In original outline of the various Tiers, CW Samurai is so low that it is actually ranked lower than Expert, an NPC-only class with versatile skill selection and no class features. There is literally nothing that a Samurai can do that a Fighter (already considered one of the lowest tiered classes) cannot do better while simultaneously doing many other things better than the Samurai. Its primary abilities, is receiving the Improved and Greater Two-weapon fighting feats for free five levels after someone building their character around such a style could, being M.A.D. and having a weak crowd control ability via Ao E Intimidate skill check. The best suggestion for playing a CW Samurai given by many is to get enough levels so that you can trade 10 levels in and become a Ex-Samurai 1/Ronin 10. Or better yet, don't play a Samurai at all.
    • Most of the Far-East themed classes from the Complete series were this way. Shugenja had incredibly limited spell selection to the point that the player chose very little of his character's core abilities. The fact that they were Divine casters (and thus able to cast in armor) was negated by their lack of armor proficiency and by having the worst Base Attack Bonus in the game (for comparison, most Divine casters get the medium Base Attack and medium or heavy armor proficiency). Wu Jen had weaker casting than wizards, and their "Spell Secret" class feature left them Blessed with Suck as it gave them free metamagic feats at the cost of crippling RP restrictions (each one came with a "taboo" that shut off the character's spell casting for the day if violated. And the metamagic feats weren't even the good ones!), meaning it holds the dubious honor of being the only class where Prestiging out is the only way to avoid crippling drawbacks.
      • This may take some explanation a bit how these classes ended up so sub-par (beyond Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards for the Samurai anyways). Early in 3.0's life time, the 3.0 version of Oriental Adventures was published, which was basically a combination of information for a standard Asian themed campaign setting, as well as some stuff from Legend of the Five Rings/Rokugan setting. As such, due to societal standards in such lands, some classes would not exist/banned outright from the setting, while others often face various social stigmas for not being of the Noble caste classes (such as the Samurai or Shugenja class). This means that a class like Shugenja, is meant to fill in for the role both the cleric, and Wizard class in such settings, while a Samurai, is able to deal with other nobles more easily than a fighter. Unfortunately, when the Complete eries came along, it tried to make them viable in a standard medieval Europe setting, without any of the roleplay protections afforded to them, meaning the only reason to play them in such settings is either a self-imposed challenge or to roleplay as a "visitor from Far-Eastern lands". Additionally, the spell casting classes pretty much received no changes to the design, or in Samurai's case … well, read that entry above.

    Items 
  • Good Bad Bugs: Most rules exploits have been hilariously exploited with purpose built characters. These range from the "unintended but not game altering" to the countless much worse ones. Some examples:
    • Because alcohol is a poison in the game's terms, an ability with the effect of "save against poison for bonuses" gets activated by booze.
    • Until 3rd Edition, the description for the Cube of Frost Resistance said that inside the 10-foot cube it creates, "The temperature is always 65 degrees Fahrenheit," and that the cube only degrades if exposed to damaging cold. So, you could use it to walk through an unlimited amount of molten lava unharmed.

    Meta 
  • Adaptation Displacement: In Japan, if you mention D&D, most people will probably sooner think of the Capcom Beat Em Ups mentioned below than the original tabletop game.
  • Base Breaker: Monte Cook, one of the designers for 3E and 5E. While he helped save D&D from death with 3E, there are some who loathe him for refusing to admit he ever made mistakes, and even more hated him after his signature Creator's Pet, Wizards, were overpowered once more in the 5e playtest.
  • Broken Base: Just watch any discussion between fans of Xth edition and fans of X+1th edition (or, sometimes, Xth and X.5th).
    • The edition war between 3rd and 4th editions. While there were some changeover gripes between 2nd and 3rd, this edition war has reached Internet Backdraft levels, possibly simply due to the availability of the Internet and the increased popularity of the system. Also the setting issue, where assorted players have flame wars over pointless gripes such as whether Eberron's dungeon punk setting is bad or not.
    • And, more recently after WOTC released a new set of core books called "Essentials", there is a heavy flame war between people who like "pre-E" D&D and those who like "post-E". The former group tends to call this new set "4.5", the latter gets positively enraged at seeing this number.
    • And with a new edition just being announced, you can bet your sweet bippy the edition wars will begin anew…
      • They already have: Fans of 3E are rejoicing over 5E, while fans of 4E are crying "Ruined!" at the return of Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards.
      • Not just linear warriors, quadratic wizards, but more linear warriors, quadratic wizards, exponential clerics. Clerics have better spells than wizards at most levels, and clerics can pick the best wizard spells from 1-5, and he doesn't have to prepare them. Not to mention proficiency with any weapon and every armor.
    • The 3rd vs. 4th split also goes along with the rise of Pathfinder, which is a further refinement of the 3.5 ruleset and now outsells the Dungeons and Dragons brand.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Some fans of weapon-using classes (I.E. Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Barbarian, Paladin and Monk) don't get along with some fans of magic-using classes (I.E. Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Bard, Druid and Warlock). Mike Mearls and Monte Cook encourage this, with Mearls taking the side of the Martial classes and Cook taking the side of the Caster classes. Unfortunately, since Cook had a bit of an Auteur License compared to Mearls, this usually leads to Cook making any and all casters into Game Breaking Creator's Pets. Fortunately for Martial fans (and fans of balance in general), Cook left the 5E design team, but not before they could fully remove his trademark of overpowered Wizards.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Every edition has inspired Fanon Discontinuity. There is still a very vocal 2nd Edition fanbase that despises the changes wrought in the transition to 3rd, and not a few 1st Edition holdouts who consider 2nd to be a bastardization, and a handful of hardcore grognards who think 1st Edition should never have supplanted "classic" D&D (called it 0E [Zero-E]). The 4th edition gets it the most, and most fans couldn't stand the new alignment system. Players naturally gravitate towards the things that make them more comfortable. Of course, it's not like the books stop working when a new edition comes out, and any really cemented group is going to have lots of house rules anyway, so it's natural that players will remain players, even when they stop buying the new material.
  • Informed Wrongness: The creation of undead is regularly noted as evil, but it never really detailed what is wrong with creating a non-sentient being through the direction of energy — it just states that anything using negative energy is automatically evil. It gets even worse when golems (which require the enslaving of a sapient being) never have their creation demonized.
  • Internet Backdraft: Just try to say anything against or in favor of 4th Edition on a D&D forum, only do so if you have a death wish. Starting an argument against or for a particular setting is also ill-advised.
    • Before the internet even became widespread, "Do female dwarves have beards?" and "Should players be allowed to play evil characters" were Magazine Letter Column Backdrafts.
  • Paranoia Fuel: So wait, most (if not all) of the stars are Eldritch Abominations that want to eat us? And some of them can create avatars of their powers called Star Spawn?
  • Screwed by the Network: Hoo boy. Between 2e AD&D and 4e, there are too many incidents of the game being screwed over by Lorraine Williams and its other publishers to fit here. A somewhat-comprehensive list appears on the trope page.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Krull was going to be an official D&D movie, but lost the license partway through development.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: It has happened for every edition change. Some might argue that 4E most of all, but veteran D&D players would point out that it only seems that way due to the much wider availability of the Internet. Interesting to note is that this is now happening WITHIN 4th Edition itself. Wizards has started to release errata/updates every few months, usually to stop overpowered exploits (although sometimes for other purposes too). Naturally, people have either declared it to be the best thing since sliced bread, or threatened to stop playing D&D. And with a new edition in the works, expect to see this yet again!
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: 4th edition is very much geared towards heroic fantasy with the default assumption that the character is a badass, to the extent that it is mechanically difficult to create a character who is actually bad in an ability (as against 'average'). Likewise you can't really model an entirely green character who has picked up a sword for the first time as even a level 1 character can call upon fairly formidable powers.

From the animated series

From the film

  • Anticlimax Boss: Profion is devoured by a dragon while gloating.
  • Awesome Music: The Main Suite, which provides both the opening AND the closing of the film, and a portion of the action music during Ridley's soirée through the "maze" in the Thieves' Guild. It is, sadly, the only really good music to come from the film.
  • Broken Aesop: The movie presents class equality as good … except its primary advocate is an empress who wouldn't be bound by it herself. Furthermore, the Council of Mages alone will form the closest thing to a legislature, i.e. the primary check on a head of state's power, Izmer has, both before and after the successful revolution.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Jeremy Irons as Profion is the absolute best thing about the movie despite its flaws. He is insanely so over the top that you are left in stunned appreciation for how a good actor could go so deliciously over the top.
    • Damodar, who proved popular enough to appear in the sequel. Possibly because he kills Snails.
    • Xilus, leader of the Thieves' Guild, most likely because Richard O'Brien makes him just so entertaining to watch.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Snails.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Damodar's blue lipstick, although it may have been due to a drug problem (the in-setting drug Sannish — think morphine if it came from dogs instead of poppies — dyes the users lips blue).
  • Fridge Logic: The Empress attacks with a flock of Golden Dragons, AKA Fire monsters. The Mages counterattack with … fireballs and Red Dragons!? So, you're attacking a creature immune to fire with fire!? WTF!?
  • Ham and Cheese: Jeremy Irons revels in Chewing the Scenery here. As such, some people who have seen the film consider him the only good part of it.
    • So much so that That Guy with the Glasses says this very phrase when describing Irons' performance.
    • This film also contains Richard O'Brien. This is notable for one very significant reason: he might be the most understated actor in the whole film. Think about that for a minute.
      • Actually, Tom Baker is. Poor Doctor.
  • Narm: Ridley's Big "NO!" when Damodar kills Snails, complete with dropping to his knees and a Skyward Scream. The triumphant-sounding music playing during that scene doesn't make it any better, almost as if the movie was celebrating the death of Snails.
    • Every word out of Damodar's mouth.
    • That noise that the dwarf makes after his helmet is shot off. It's a high-pitched "Nyur! Nyur!" sort of sound. Some think it was a mating call.
    • Damodar mind raping Marina with the mind worm... thing, coming out of his ears.
  • Snark Bait: The plot of the movie and Jeremy Irons and The Dragon hamming it up in every scene they appear in guaranteed the movie would become this.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Much of the movie is hilarious in its cheesiness, hamminess and dated effects (and genuinely hilarious on rare occasions), unless you're a serious D&D fan, in which case it's like being eaten feet first by rats.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Snails getting brutally beaten to death by Damodar.note 
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Tom Baker gives possibly the only good performance in this movie.

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