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Misused (YKTTW name crowner): Heroes Prefer Swords get usage counts

Not An Avatar
you didn't prove that all of those weapons have non-combat uses, because I just proved the opposite re: warhammers. Martello is Italian for hammer and I'm not referring to the kind you use to drive in nails.

Uh... using a weapon in hunting is use as a weapon. And a hunting sword is very much a thing.

Again, I'm not trying to make my own point about how swords are the only weapon that can only be used for killing people (ccoa put it better than I could). I'm saying that this is a reasonable line of thought about swords that shapes their use in stories.

The Weapon of Choice tropes in general are pretty lax about enforcing whether the example adheres to whatever association the weapon is supposed to represent for the character. I think that's a good thing. We don't want the tropes to be broad to the point of being called out as People Use This Weapon. Nor do we want to have to keep splitting hairs, adding new subtropes, and cutting examples because they don't fit neatly. Tropes Are Flexible; they do a decent enough job.

So I feel that we shouldn't go overboard with dissecting the sword trope into rigid subtropes assigned to individual meanings. It's frustrating, arguable, and not fun. I brought the other possible meanings up as a reason for not using the name Swords Are Heroic and to contribute more elements to defining Heroes Prefer Swords as a subtrope of Weapon of Choice. A sword supertrope may still prove necessary, since swords are very prominent in media and have lots of uses, but it should be a trope and explore the most common meaning(s) rather than being an index for sword-related tropes (we have one).

edited 5th Mar '12 2:49:36 PM by Treblain

We're not just men of science, we're men of TROPE!
 77 Cider, Mon, 5th Mar '12 8:58:40 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
RP Gs take place in Medieval settings so they don't count? I think they do count because the sword is often ill suited.

What was mostly used by foot soldiers? Spears. Horsemen? Spears, lances. Heavy Calvary? Spears. Hunters? Nets, spears, bows. Raiders? Axes, bows. Berserkers? Axes. Guards? Spears, bows. The sword is nowhere near as common or as preferred as fiction would have you believe. It was useful but it was also hard to use, expensive and had little use outside of battle, unlike every other listed weapon. It was highly romanticized, everyone talked about swords but few actually went and got one. If they did, it was like a brush cutlass.

If the character is not a noble, specialty soldier or lacking options they count I think.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 78 Martello, Tue, 6th Mar '12 7:33:09 AM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
[up][up]Fair enough. I like ccoa's recommendation for how to split. Swords Are Heroic and Anachronistic Sword User or whatever we decide to call them.

[up]Exactly.
"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
Why have Anachronistic Sword User and not just a general Anachronistic Weapon User?

 80 Martello, Tue, 6th Mar '12 12:08:49 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
I don't have a problem with that. We can put in a note that the weapon is frequently a sword, because Swords Are Heroic, which links the two tropes nicely.

And I can't believe we didn't already have that one.

edited 6th Mar '12 12:09:05 PM by Martello

"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
 81 ccoa, Tue, 6th Mar '12 12:09:57 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
As I said I would, I am YKTTWing anachronistic weapon user. I decided not to go with Anachronistic Weapon User as the name, though, since it has the potential to be mistaken for laser guns in the stone age and similar instances where the weapon is way too advanced for the setting.
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 82 Septimus Heap, Tue, 6th Mar '12 12:10:48 PM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Puʻu ʻŌʻō
[up][up]Heroes Prefer Swords

 83 lu 127, Tue, 6th Mar '12 12:12:38 PM from the Capital of Light Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Do we have a video game only trope where swords are the better/stronger weapons gameplay-wise, or is it included in this trope? Could it be split, if you think it's tropable, maybe?

edited 6th Mar '12 12:12:54 PM by lu127

迷子の足音消えた
代わりに祈りの唄
 84 Martello, Tue, 6th Mar '12 12:15:31 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
[up][up]I mean a for real version of that trope. Heroes Prefer Swords is just a silly mess.

edited 6th Mar '12 12:15:44 PM by Martello

"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
 85 ccoa, Tue, 6th Mar '12 12:16:25 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
@lu - According to a couple tropers here, the video game trope is that Swords Are Balanced. That is, that swords tend to be middle of the road for speed, damage, and accuracy or otherwise balanced between weapon stats. That's why the protagonist tends to have one, because he tends to be the Jack of All Stats himself.

We have been discussing creating that trope, too.

edited 6th Mar '12 12:17:00 PM by ccoa

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 86 Deboss, Tue, 6th Mar '12 3:33:55 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
They also tend to be the most powerful weapons overall. I suspect this is because of all the famous swords that you can give awesome stats to like Excalibur and Masamune.
 87 ccoa, Tue, 6th Mar '12 3:39:25 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
So the trope would be "swords are balanced except for the infinity +/-1 sword, which is the best weapon?" Or are there two tropes: Swords Are Balanced and Swords Are Better?
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"Balanced" in this case means that swords are the jack-of-all-stats weapon. Bigger weapons will be more powerful, but they'll have their own drawbacks. Smaller weapons and ranged weapons will have their uses, but they won't be as reliable.

So an infinity+1 sword can still be balanced, in a way. If there's also an infinity+1 axe and a dagger, the infinity+1 sword will be the middle-of-the-road choice.

Swords like Excalibur and Masamune just tie into the Heroes Prefer Swords thing.

 89 Deboss, Tue, 6th Mar '12 9:01:15 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
"Big" weapons like spears and two handed axes/hammers tend to be "hammer blow weapons" which have a slow speed but a massive damage per hit rating. Small weapons like knives/daggers or some kind of fist weapon tend to be "machine gun weapons" where they hit for low amounts but hit very fast. Swords, usually, tend to sit in the middle having average speed and average damage. If there's multiple kinds of swords, short swords tend to be the machine gun, long swords or bastard swords tend to be the hammer blow. The overall DPS generally depends on level.
 90 Cider, Wed, 7th Mar '12 10:40:41 AM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
I don't think "balance" was the original intent. That seems to belong on Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors. More that swords are over represented in fiction, particularly in heroes, even more particularly in game heroes. There is a guy with a dragon in his hair who can summon a giant construction made of machine guns but the main character is still a bland sword user, guns with near ulimited ammo are present but despite growing up around such tools whole groups of people insist on relying exclusively on swords.

edited 7th Mar '12 10:41:07 AM by Cider

Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
No one's saying that the trope should be replaced with Swords Are Balanced - they're saying that it's a separate trope.

edited 7th Mar '12 11:03:10 AM by abk0100

Cure Candy
Maybe we need a Character Type Appropriate Weapon supertrope or index.

And stuff like that

edited 7th Mar '12 11:33:13 AM by Raso

Isn't that Weapon of Choice?

Cure Candy
I guess it is close enough. Man that is a mess, people just throwing character types wherever.

Well anyway, this is a subtrope of that.
 95 ccoa, Wed, 7th Mar '12 12:08:32 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
There is a guy with a dragon in his hair who can summon a giant construction made of machine guns but the main character is still a bland sword user, guns with near ulimited ammo are present but despite growing up around such tools whole groups of people insist on relying exclusively on swords.

See, this is part of the problem. The trope is both about "anachronistic use of swords" and "swords show up a lot as a weapon of choice for the protagonist" right now, which don't seem to be the same trope. Which is why I proposed the trope structure a few pages ago.
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Not An Avatar
The anachronistic usage definitely needs to be split off into its own trope.

Otherwise, well, there's a reason why Weapon of Choice tropes aren't always perfectly coherent and focused. It is against our best interests to have to restrict their definitions to the point that we need to remove examples for not corresponding to a rigid character-to-weapon relationship. Lumping works way better than splitting for Weapon of Choice.

I don't think we need that many subtropes for "Sword As Weapon of Choice" (I propose Live By The Sword as a name, but we can get a crowner on that).

The lines are blurred as to the exact reasons why the hero uses a sword in whatever story, so I'd say that things like "swords represent warriors", "swords are noble", "swords are balanced" are interrelated elements that can be folded into a single subtrope of Sword As Weapon Of Choice (for which the name Heroes Prefer Swords could be used). Swords Are Balanced might get its own trope, but it should be disassociated from Heroes Prefer Swords and presented more as a subtrope of Jack of All Stats, with the relationship to heroes being circumstantial.

Then, we send Heroes Prefer Swords through YKTTW along with the new trope(s) to collect straight examples. It's widespread, but hardly omnipresent enough to need only aversions.
We're not just men of science, we're men of TROPE!
 97 ccoa, Wed, 7th Mar '12 6:39:53 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Actually, I think we should be stricter on enforcing the meaning of Weapon of Choice tropes, even if there are multiple possible meanings. A list of all sword wielders in fiction is not a trope.
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 98 Deboss, Wed, 7th Mar '12 6:49:10 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
I've found that The Lancer will often use a sword of a different design, in fitting with his Foil function.
 99 Cider, Wed, 7th Mar '12 6:53:54 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
It was never a list of all sword users in fiction. It states many sword users are improbable in their given circumstances, often showing up as heroic leads simply because swords have been romanticized.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 100 ccoa, Wed, 7th Mar '12 6:56:49 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
I didn't say it was. I was responding to this:

It is against our best interests to have to restrict their definitions to the point that we need to remove examples for not corresponding to a rigid character-to-weapon relationship.

Which is what it would essentially make them.

And really, "list of weapon X users" is what they're used for right now. Look at Final Fantasy Type-0 - it had weapon of choice tropes for all of the playable characters before anything was known about them beyond their appearance and weapons.

edited 7th Mar '12 6:57:16 PM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.

Alternative Titles: Deprecated Weapon YKTTW
21st Jun '12 9:21:06 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the name will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of Crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative names.
At issue:

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