Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fanfic / Forged Destiny

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/commissioned___knight_by_dishwasher1910_4.jpg
Fanart by dishwasher1910 commissioned for Coeur Al'Aran
Jaune had always dreamed of being a Hero, of being someone. But dreams were just that; for in the world of Remnant the Class you are born with determines your fate. Jaune was born a Blacksmith, and thus that was his destiny. But when a strange opportunity allows him to change that, can a simple Blacksmith become something more within the Beacon Academy for Heroes?
Advertisement:

An AU RWBY fanfic written by Coeur Al'Aran, creator of Professor Arc. In this universe, Remnant is entirely governed by RPG Mechanics with people born to various Classes that can be read above a person's head, and where Grimm drop loot when killed. Here, Jaune is born a Blacksmith, but dreams of becoming a Hero. Thanks to a magical amulet he's discovered that changes the appearance of his Class to Knight, he manages to enter Beacon to fulfill his dream, but without any real knowledge of what being a Knight or Hero truly entails, and under constant fear of being discovered.

The work is currently updated on a weekly-basis every Monday. It can be found here on Fan Fiction Dot Net.

The fic is split into multiple Books, each 15-17 chapters long.

  • Book 1 - Becoming A Hero: Establishes the setting and tells the story of Jaune's rocky start as a Hero of Beacon. note 
  • Advertisement:
  • Book 2 - Aberration of Atlas: The newly formed guild, and Blake, set off on their Annual Quest, investigating strange goings on in the Kingdom of Atlas.
  • Book 3 - The Guild War: Having successfully completed their Annual Quest, The Hunters must now address their domestic troubles and find a way out of debt.
  • Book 4 - The Forsaken: As the most distinguished first year guild in Beacon's recent history, The Hunters are tasked with investigating suspicious activity in Mistral.
  • Book 5 - Blurred Lines: War has come to the Kingdom of Vale and The Hunters must do their part, even as they come to terms with what it truly means to be Heroes.
  • Book 6 - Secrets of the Sands: A tenuous peace has been achieved, and The Hunters are sent to the deserts of Vacuo to secure it before time runs out.
  • Book 7 - Vale's New Dawn: With peace between Vale and Mistral finally achieved, The Hunters ride out to aid in the relief effort while their leader grapples with his newfound abilities and the intrigue that comes with them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Book 8 - The Shattered Mirage: Vale's stability hangs on a knife-edge once again. With the Greycloaks revealing an awful truth to the kingdom and Beacon's leaders opting to not wipe the terrorists out, the Hunters undertake the mission themselves when one of their own goes rogue.

Note: Due to the length and structure of the story, beware of some Late Arrival Spoilers.


Forged Destiny provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    # - H 
  • Aborted Arc: The Noble/New Dawn plotline that was prominent at the start of Book 7 was originally supposed to have an entire book to itself, but fan complaints about the story dragging on due to the lack of sympathetic characters or driving motivations prompted Coeur to largely abandon it in favor of the Greycloak captivity arc, which he had planned to be the driving force of Book 8. This means that the planned length of Forged Destiny was shortened to nine books, and that the Noble Arc gets a very rushed offscreen resolution during the last chapter of Book 7.
  • Absurd Cutting Power: The primary ability of Watts' rune-enchanted sword, with which he can cut through weapons, armor, and people without much exertion. He loses this ability when Jaune uses his Blacksmith skill to smudge one of the runes, rendering it a normal sword.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • The author has stated that he avoids utilizing many active skills in the various fight scenes in order to avoid turning every battle into a chaotic mess of Dragon-Ball-Z type engagements. However, the lack of showcasing RPG Skills has also lead to criticism of the story seemingly avoiding it's RPG theme to the bare minimum, has hurt the argument over the difference in Class relations, and has lead to many Word of God moments invoking explanations over abilities that are not shown or hinted at in the story proper. Whether or not this is an acceptable break from the story's reality in order to improve readability or not depends on one's point of view.
    • This is important in regards to how competent Jaune seems in relation to the actual heroes around him. As the others, excepting Weiss & other mages, seem to only pull out their active skills in extremely specific circumstances, he appears to be far more capable in a straight fight than he should logically be by the rules of the world he exists in.
  • The Ace: What Prestige classes are in general. So much so, Mistral favors them with the most difficult and rewarding quests, and societal positions of importance. However, individuals of more mundane classes can also be this given a high enough Level and ability, such as Ironwood and Goodwitch for their respective Kingdoms.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Since Heroes generate lien by killing Grimm, merchants charge them vastly inflated prices for their goods and services. Jaune's awareness of this and habits gained from a lifetime surrounded by Shopkeepers gives him an edge when haggling, a concept most Heroes don't even seem aware of. His guildmates see this as a Knight's high charisma at work and leave most monetary dealings to him (especially after Pyrrha accidentally spends nearly all the group's money chartering a ship).
  • Adaptational Badass: The Grimm species from the original show, like Beowolves or Ursai, are referred to as the "Elder Grimm" and are all much more dangerous than they were originally. A single Beowolf, the likes of which are killed by dozens in the show, is more than enough to give four of the main characters trouble, and an Ursa gets extremely close to inflicting a Total Party Kill on the Hunters. In their place as the mooks are smaller types of Grimm that are correspondingly more numerous.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Cinder Fall of all people. Despite her unfortunate first interactions with the Hunters, she is very committed to ensuring peace and stability for the world, and even offers sympathy to Jaune after The Reveal. Justified in that her main drive in canon was to gain power and influence, which her Elementalist Prestige Class and her engagement to the future God-King of Mistral already provides.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Jaune will always be Blake's "Strange Knight" for being her friend, and thinking the best of her.
    • Nora’s return to the use of the term “Jauney” serves as an indicator that she’s started to forgive him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Tyrian, a noble and accomplished Hero who failed to save the Mistral Queen due to her own cowardice, was made a scapegoat and Forsaken by the Mistral hierarchy to save their reputation, and ends up dying in an (unneeded) attempt to save his new Queen Salem, whom he summoned in a mad attempt to create a more peaceful and inclusive Mistral. And then Salem dismisses him as a failure, leaving Tyrian a broken and sobbing mess as he succumbs to his wounds.
  • All There in the Manual: The site forum contains details and plot points that didn't make it into the main story, which can prove problematic given how much information has accumulated over the years and the amount of posts one would need to sift through to find relevant information.
    • While the rest of the guild are rarely if ever seen using any Skills, the author just doesn't mention their usage as he feels it would both bog down the narrative and that it would be difficult to keep track of so many separate characters' abilities. See Acceptable Breaks from Reality above for the problems with this.
    • While the first author's note states that the primary pairing of the work will be Lancaster(Ruby x Jaune), the author actually changed his mind within the first ten chapters and decided to make the pairing Knightshade(Jaune x Blake). Coeur has since stated that the pairing is now undecided.
    • Jaune informed Ozpin about his Runesmithing ability immediately after returning from Vacuo.
    • Jaune told the rest of the guild about his various Blacksmithing abilities in the space between books 6 and 7.
    • Ozpin told the King of Vale about Jaune's abilities in the span between books 6 and 7.
  • Alternate Universe: Aside from the obvious RPG nature of the fic, many elements and circumstances surrounding characters are vastly different from the show.
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Del'Ashari of Vacuo guard the various ruins in the desert to prevent ancient knowledge from being rediscovered.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Pops up a few times, fittingly enough for an RPG Verse.
    • First in the Faunus village when they're given fur cloaks for helping after an avalanche.
    • Then after their time in Mistral they're each allowed to take one item out of the Beacon vaults as a reward, with Ruby and Weiss taking a pair of boots and a mage's robe respectively.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Salem has several. Her very presence presses down everyone till they're on their hands and knees. Striking her with a weapon will either go right through her, or be caught with ease. She can easily detect the location of those out of sight or the true nature of those in disguise, can hurl and grab people without physical contact, and cross distances in an instant. All this, in addition to being the Queen of Grimm, and thus able to create any kind of Grimm she wants!
  • Anti-Climax: After nearly a whole book being dedicated to hyping up Raven’s power in relation to everyone and the insanity of her personality and plans, she is ultimately defeated by Salem and killed off by Ruby in the span of one chapter after she summons Salem on the Mirage Isles.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • A Class 0 happened in Atlas during their civil war, permanently turning the nearby mountains into frozen wastes and decimating the local towns and cities.
    • Another Class 0 happened in Vacuo's past when the king of the Ashari made a wish to Salem to "make his people strong", leaving behind a desert littered with the ruins of ancient kingdoms.
  • The Archmage: Ironwood, as the most powerful Mage in Atlas with many arcane skills, such as creating living metallic trees (called "iron wood"), portals, and giving Penny life. It's even an official title signifying him as the head of both the Atlas Magic Academy and the ruling Mage Circle, and is referred by it even more than his actual name and class.
  • Art Shift: Strangely for a pure text based work this happens in regards to Salem's speech patterns, as her first appearance has her words appear in the normal text font like everyone else. By her second appearance her words have shifted to a bold font to emphasize her inherent menace and wrongness.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be:
    • The issue of chapter 75, where Jaune accidentally kills a soldier by slicing near effortlessly through both equipment and person is justified by a respective difference of 10-15 Levels. This seems to overlook that both Jaune and the others have consistently fought enemies potentially 40 Levels higher at minimum without having either their bodies or equipment broken in turn by simple blows.
    • Later revealed to be the same case for Ruby with her Con stat having a score of 5 and never improving since she was born, it raises the issue of why she didn't also die whenever she takes any hits, such as when Watts struck her over the head. The reasoning behind this seems to be the earned combat ability of the various heroes in terms of their ability to avoid direct blows, and when they are hit by attacks from those far higher than them, such as by Watts in the fight in Roman's office, the results are often severe wounds. However, the fact that they merely suffer 'severe wounds' when compared to the 'instant death', and not always very severe wounds, still leaves some feeling that a degree of plot armor is in place, particularly for Ruby as noted above.
    • This also applies for the various stats in general; with the relationship between hard earned talent, system granted 'skills', and ones actual stats shifting back and forth as the story rolls along.
    • Also applies with Jaune being able to injure Salem, whose is basically a god in this story, while only being in the upper 30 Levels, and then he later is unable to put a scratch on mere human opponents when they're of a high enough Level.
  • Ass Kicking Equals Authority: In Vacuo, the strongest person in a tribe is the leader regardless of Caste, whether they want to be or not.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Varies in several cases.
    • In Beacon one of the standard requirements to becoming a teacher is to have a Level of at least 60, and a notable reputation for outstanding achievements.
    • Subverted in the Kingdom's usual standard forms of government, where the ones in charge are Noble Caste members who are not very suited to fighting like the Hero Caste. Though played straight in Atlas, where the Noble Caste has been replaced by Mages.
    • Also subverted with the Hunters Guild, where Jaune is made the Guild Master despite having the lowest level in the group.
    • Then played straight again with Cinder who, as both a Prestige Class and the future princess of Mistral, kicks a metric ton of ass with any fight she participates in becoming a Curb-Stomp Battle as a result.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Discussed as the justification for why certain classes like Assassins such as Blake are discriminated against, since their Stats and Skills make them best suited for crimes like theft and murder. Jaune points out that having abilities that makes them better or easier at such acts, doesn't inherently mean a person has to use them for evil, or that other people can't commit theft and murder as well even if they don't have such Skills.
  • Badass Crew: The Hunters are repeatedly pitted against opponents and obstacles that should be far beyond their Levels but they triumph against them regardless, often saving hundreds of lives in the process. They are also fiercely loyal to each other to the point that each of them is willing to risk their own lives if it meant the others would be saved.
  • Badass Normal: Jaune's class means he has no combat-based skills, he starts at a lower level than most other heroes due to a lack of experience, and his stats will always be less combat focused than a true Hero's. Despite this, by Book 2 he is capable of holding his own against Grimm and Heroes alike. By Book 4 he's fully capable of leading a Soldier Caste garrison against a horde of Grimm.
  • Base on Wheels: The Roaming City of Vacuo is a High Fantasy Desert Punk take on the trope, with the city moving throughout the desert along a series of oases. Every few months the entire city is disassembled and moves on once the current oasis is exhausted.
  • Batman Gambit/Deliberate Injury Gambit: Jaune pulls this off against the fanatical Tyrian. Realizing that his friends wouldn't be able to defeat such a skilled opponent, he made a show of attacking the enemy's object of worship. The attack would have been entirely ineffective, but Tyrian didn't know that and left himself completely open while attacking Jaune.
  • Battle Couple: Technically, all romantic relationships among Heroes are this, including Jaune and Blake who've hooked up by Book 4.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: It is never a good idea to ask Salem for a wish. Just ask Merlot, Tyrian, or the ancient king of Vacuo who ruled over it while it was still a lush and fertile land.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The mutual basis of Jaune and Blake's friendship and eventual romance, with Jaune seeing Blake as a good person regardless of being an Assassin because she saved him on the First Quest and frequently going out of her way to help him, and Blake being surprised and happy with Jaune always treating her with respect and kindness.
  • Becoming the Mask: Jaune
    " I was a Blacksmith, but I'd never felt less like one than I did right now. I could remember back when Beacon started and that reality had plagued me every day.[...] No one could look at me and think I was a Blacksmith. I never acted like it."
  • Bedouin Rescue Service: The nomadic tribes in Vacuo freely offer help to those they come across, as it might be them needing help in the future.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Every. Single. Book. Except for Book 8! That one comes to a close on a complete Downer Ending.
    • Book 1: Jaune is attending Beacon academy with a group of close knit friends who are all well on their way to becoming heroes, but they're also stuck in a deal with a manipulative Loan Shark and their eventual expulsion seems almost inevitable.
    • Book 2: The Hunters have successfully completed their Annual Quest and saved many people while doing so, but their financial situation is still tenuous, one of their temporary party members died, and the world is revealed to be much larger and more dangerous than they could have ever imagined.
    • Book 3: The Hunters have managed to escape from their abusive financial situation that has plagued them since Book 1, but the perpetrators of the incident have escaped mostly unscathed and are also revealed to be part of a larger organization bent on sowing chaos and destruction throughout Remnant.
    • Book 4: The Hunters have successfully saved Mistral from complete destruction, but fighting has broken out that threatens to plunge the kingdoms into a state of war.
    • Book 5: The city of Magnis has been saved and a temporary ceasefire negotiated, but Jaune's romantic relationship has come to a bitter end, hundreds have died defending the keep, and Roman and Neo have escaped to Vacuo to continue their misdeeds there.
    • Book 6: The war has finally been brought to a close, but the guild is fractured, dozens of villages have been massacred due to Mistral's treachery, and Jaune was forced to kill Cinder, the only person to show him genuine kindness after The Reveal, thanks to the manipulations of the King of Mistral.
    • Book 7: The guild have come to something of a reconciliation, but hundreds of civilians have been massacred, Qrow's dead, Lisa's dead, Jaune just suffered a week of almost unending torture, the kingdom of Vale seems to be on the brink of collapse, Raven is still at large and planning to summon Salem to make a potentially apocalyptic wish, and no one has any idea how to stop her that doesn't in some way make everything worse.
  • The Blacksmith: Both Jaune and his father are Blacksmiths. Jaune's father has a very high level for a member of the Labour Caste at 25 while Jaune himself may be well on his way to becoming an Ultimate Blacksmith as he has already greatly surpassed his father's level after being at Beacon for under a year.
  • Blinded by the Light: Jaune's tactic in the battle in the Ashari Temple. He attempts to distract Watts from delivering a killing blow against Blake by literally stabbing Salem in the back. This sufficiently shocks and angers her to the point where she effectively becomes a flash-bang of magical force.
  • Blessed with Suck:
    • Weiss being a Mage unsuited for physical combat, has a Passive requiring her to use a sword when casting magic, denying her the ability to Min Max her stats with staves like normal Mage types. What benefit this gives her in return has yet to be explained. Eventually elaborated on in the fight against Watts and Willow, Weiss' wish-resurrected mother. Her ability to use a sword enables her to fight more effectively in close range, allowing her an edge against the strictly staff using Willow, whose techniques are more useful from a long range.
    • The outlook of Qrow's tribe in regards to him being a Druid. Their emphasis on physical Strength caused them to disdain any form of magic, and so they forced him to use a sword to the point the majority of his Skills are melee based, with him now unable to cast anything but the most basic of spells.
  • Bodyguard Crush: A fairly common occurance in Atlas with Mages and Sentinels being partnered for most of their lives. Also the reason for Watts' love for Weiss mother Willow, who he served as her Sentinel, and subsequent jealousy when she married Jacques instead. It eventually lead to him hiring an Assassin who killed both Jacques and Whitley, and later almost poisoning Weiss and Winter in an attempt to have Willow for himself, before he ended up murdering her as well.
  • Breather Episode: What Jaune's return to Ansel amounts to as it allows him to reconnect with his family and spend some time away from Beacon, the war, and the Greycloaks.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Jaune manages to actually wound Salem twice, albeit not in a debilitating manner. While he did manage to survive Salem's immediate attempt at retaliation, Crocea Mors was shattered, and the Class-disguising ability of his amulet was lost in the process.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The Mistral soldiers who attempt to execute their prisoners while Jaune and Blake are within earshot then go on to insult the two Heroes while throwing the Grand Treaty's vague rules of caste protection in their face. They then continue to attempt to kill their hostages right in front of the Valean Heroes and are subsequently slaughtered.
  • Bystander Syndrome: The Kingdom of Atlas during the war between Vale and Mistral. Despite stated as being strong allies to Vale, they do nothing to aide them under the dubious reasoning that it would just make the situation worse.
  • The Cavalry: Multiple characters have taken this role. Often showing up to rescue Jaune and the others at the final conflict of a Book.
  • Charm Person:
  • Chastity Couple: Averted. By the end of Book 4 Blake decides to become more physically intimate with Jaune. By Book 5 onwards it's shown they continue sleeping together on a semi-frequent basis, although Blake takes measures not to alert the others to this.
  • Combat Compliment: Jaune and Cinder exchange these with each other while they are crossing blades while also lamenting having to fight one another.
  • Confusion Fu: The biggest advantage the Greycloaks have is that no one can completely figure out what their overall plan is, aside from “Summon Salem a bunch of times.” They demonstrate a variety of traits indicating a world-spanning organization, with the kind of far-reaching coordinatioon to successfully orchestrate an all-out war between Vale and Mistral. Yet, at the same time, on an individual level, no single member seems to be interested in anything more than summoning Salem and getting his or her wish granted. This discrepancy makes it all but impossible to figure out what their overarching goals are, or even if they have them, beyond cultivating as much darkness and despair as possible in order to increase the likelihood of being able to execute a successful summons. At best, the heroes are only able to figure out enough to act against the latest summoning attempt, yet find little to no information that allows them to counter the organization as a whole.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Several.
    • The Hunters involvement in the Greycloak's main plot required they look to take an Annual Quest at the exact time when they did in their First Year, due to being in just the right desperate circumstance of being indebted to Roman in order to push them into attempting it so soon.
    • Book 5 has Jaune and Blake traveling with just the sort of Mistral Soldiers that would be murderous enough to kill Vale prisoners in front of them to push a confrontation. As well as have Jaune foil the Greycloak's plans by taking a break from defending Magnus' walls at just the right moment to spot a suspected Greycloak going somewhere.
    • Book 6 it's revealed that Salem was the one who gave Jaune his amulet that disguised him as a Knight. Though the exact circumstances of how this came about aren't elaborated it still requires Salem conveniently meeting Jaune at the exact moment he makes a wish, making the entire story based on this.
    • Again in Book 6 where Mistral's sneak attack on Vale is foiled by Jaune being in his home town right when they're attempting to burn it down.
    • Another in Book 7 where Raven has Jaune make an Infinity +1 Sword out of an unearthly metal provided by Salem, in which both a Blacksmith of sufficient Skill and Level as well as the metal itself is conveniently provided to her.
  • Control Freak: Weiss, not only in personality, but also in her style of magic as she specializes more in controlling the terrain than in directly damaging enemies. It's later revealed this is largely due to the trauma of her mother's trusted Sentinel Watts betraying and murdering all but herself and Winter, giving her severe trust issues.
  • Crossing the Desert: After learning that Roman and Neo were sent to Vacuo, the Hunters are tasked with traversing the Sahara-like kingdom in order to capture them, and are subjected to it's many inhospitable features such as fighting off scorpion-Grimm during the scorching heat of the day, spider-Grimm during the night, and frantically searching for shelter when caught in a sand storm.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Invoked as the basis for why Beacon and all the other Hero schools set such high standards for students, and won't hesitate to send them to the lower Soldier Caste should they fail. They understand that the life of a Hero is harsh and dangerous, and so if a person can't make it through the First Quest, or the various school demands, then it's better they be kicked out than get themselves and others killed. Word of God is that this is why only 5 percent of the entire population are in the Hero Caste, while another 30 percent make up the Soldier Caste, despite there being no differences in the Classes that comprise the two. This is seen twice during the Beacon entrance exam:
    • Jaune sees a nervous applicant by herself, and tries to comfort and give a few tips, while Blake helps the same applicant by intimidating her to go back to the rest of the group while giving her a story to bond over. Jaune speculates that, between the two of them, Blake helped her more.
    • Jaune then has to practice this himself while overseeing the actual examination. He spots the same applicant in the midst of a losing battle, but doesn't interfere so that she could have a chance to prove herself. His desire to see a younger initiate succeed nearly gets her killed before he's forced to rescue and subsequently fail her.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Pyrrha's opinion of her class. Being born a Champion, and thus a Prestige Class, gave her special attention and incredible power while growing up in Mistral, but lead to increasing isolation as people saw her more for her Class than the person underneath, until she moved to Vale and met Jaune and the others. To make matters worse, a Champion's skills and passives are oriented towards fighting on their own, which makes it hard for Pyrrha who wants to fight alongside her friends.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: This exists as a trope In Universe. Unfortunately for our heroes, most healing classes attend specialized healing schools instead of the Hero Academies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Strongly implied with Blake. She doesn't like talking about her past, her mother died in unexplained circumstances, she has an incredibly high level in a world where such a thing is only gained through killing, and she has shown no desire to shed any light on the subject.
  • Dark Secret:
    • Jaune has one, as is common for Coeur Al'Aran's works. His identity as a Blacksmith is something that he does his utmost to keep hidden.
    • Ruby also shares this with Jaune in regards to her Reaper Class. Although she doesn't have it hidden, what exactly a Reaper is, and what particulars are involved, is a topic that is pointedly avoided by both Ruby and Yang whenever it's brought up.
  • Darker and Edgier: Each book tends to be several shades darker than its predecessor. By Book 7, the friendship and romance tones of the earlier books have been largely replaced or overshadowed by themes of loss and tragedy.
  • Deal with the Devil: The unifying factor of the Greycloaks with their only consistent goal being to summon Salem and ask for a wish. Merlot asked for the power of the Grimm while Tyrian asked for a fair and just ruler. Neither was given what they truly wanted.
  • Decadent Court: Every member of the Noble caste featured so far, with the exceptions of Galan and Hazel, have been conniving, backstabbing, amoral sociopaths who are often willing to kill tens of thousands to get what they want. Of the two exceptions mentioned, the first is a Slave to PR, incapable of doing good when it is not expected of him, and the second is eventually almost executed and then unofficially exiled from his kingdom for his good deeds.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Blake. While not exactly cold, in the beginning she's a guarded and enigmatic figure Jaune has no clue how to really approach. As the story progresses she becomes more comfortable in opening up and expressing herself not only to Jaune, but to the other guild members as well.
  • Determinator: Implied to be one of the more tangible effects of Res.
    • An early sign of this comes after Jaune realizes that one of his A-rank's being in a Dump Stat will always put him behind his friends.
      Jaune: It was just a setback. Nothing more.
    • Later on, it is implied that this gives Jaune the ability to ignore pain, fatigue, and fear, as well as resist mental interference, and Salem's paralyzing presence. This even pushes into Heroic Safe Mode territory as Jaune still feels some fear but seems unable or unwilling to act on it
      I should run, my mind pointed out. I should flee. I should scream. I… I shouldn't feel this calm. But I did, and as the Ursa loped towards me, I shifted my feet and prepared myself to meet its charge. It would surely crush me, but one good cut would put it down and give the others a chance to escape. That would be enough.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: In Book 6: Chapter 8, the Hunters have set up a reasonably well thought out trap to ensnare Roman, Neo, and Watts, all of whom are exhausted from their trek through the desert and have no way of even accessing the first temple. Even if they did have a way to enter the temple, they would have to outrun the Hunters close behind them while fighting through hordes of Grimm to reach the main complex. Even if they did reach the main complex, they still don't have any of the human sacrifices necessary to summon Salem. Through unexplained means, the villainous group both gains access to the temple without having to perform a blood offering, outruns the heroes while fighting Grimm, and have a large amount of sacrifices delivered to them presumably through a portal that is briefly seen when it was previously stated that portals shouldn't be able to access the temple.
  • Don't Create a Martyr:
    • One of the stated reasons the Noble Caste doesn't attempt to dispose of Jaune is the fear that such an act would spark a rebellion amongst the other castes.
    • Invoked by Lisa Lavender who attempts to use this trope to dissuade others from attacking her for fear of elevating her to martyrdom. Her attempts fail as her enemies simply send an assassin to dispose of her in her sleep along with an additional group to set her shared residence on fire so as to Make It Look Like an Accident. Luckily for her, Jaune quickly puts a stop to said attempt.
  • Door Stopper: With Book 6 officially ended as of September 17th, the fic stands at 94 chapters and nearly 700k words long. With 10 books planned out, it's still far from over with.
  • Downer Ending: Book 8. Raven successfully brought Salem fully into the physical world only to be unceremoniously killed by her in a matter of moments, making her even stronger. Ruby was able to steal half of the Exp from Raven's death by delivering the final blow to her dying form, but doing so increased her Agility to such a degree that she can no longer function normally, and would only be a hindrance in battle. As the entirety of Vale is going to be under attack from every single Grimm in existence in a matter of months, Jaune is forced to solely take up his role as a Blacksmith for the foreseeable future, something he has been dreading all his life, so as to arm as many combatants as possible for the coming conflict.
  • Draw Aggro:
    • Used by Jaune, Nora, Pyrrha, and Yang frequently to protect the squishier members of the Hunters. In Atlas, drawing aggro away from their Mage partner is basically the Sentinel Caste's whole job description.
    • Jaune takes it to a new level when he decides to stab Salem in order to protect his guild-mates. Twice. It technically worked, but still.
  • Easily Forgiven: A staple of Coeur's stories with the premise of Jaune hiding a major secret. Despite nearly a hundred chapters of anticipation over Jaune's breaking Class traditions, the full legal, social, and personal implications are dismissed and brushed aside with little argument or acknowledgement by the end of Book 7, with the closest being a few intermittent arguments between the Guild that boils down to being upset over the deception, but doesn't go any further. YMMV page for the full reaction.
    • The Guild also gets on the receiving in by Jaune, as despite initially accepting all criticism and responsibility received after The Reveal, turns around several weeks later after working together simply to state how upset he is over their treatment, and by the end of Book 7 drops any grudge and argument against everyone else as unimportant. See YMMV page for the full reaction.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Salem and thus the Grimm that come from her. She has no name or class above her head, a core rule of the character's world, exudes a presence so wrong and evil it causes paralysis to all but those with a high enough Resilience, and is revealed to come from a separate dimension, only appearing when attracted by being summoned and provided negativity. Word of God confirms that if Remnant is governed inside a RPG System then Salem exists outside of it.
  • Elite Mook: Beowolves. In this fic, they sit between Lesser Grimm and Elder Grimm in threat level, and can even serve as a Mini-Boss in Dungeons.
  • Emotion Eater: Salem, and by extension the rest of the Grimm. She has a preference for despair and anger, and dislikes love and satisfaction at a job well done.
  • Empathic Environment: The Grimm are a particularly nasty varrient of the trope, spawning wherever there is enough negative emotion. In some cases the negativity will somehow seep into the land, causing Grimm to spawn until enough have been killed and the negativity is used up. Beacon is located close to several such areas which seem to perpetually spawn Grimm despite the students farming the area for decades.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Jaune's sword, Crocea Mors, is given this several times as the story progresses, which is made easier as, being a Blacksmith, Jaune can reforge it into a better version as he grows in Levels. In Book 1, it starts as a common and fairly low quality blade; by the beginning of Book 4 it has been remade with higher quality mundane metal and a Rune of minor Dexterity, and at the end of Book 4 it's again remade with magic metal.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Salem of all people seems to find Merlot's betrayal of his Sentinel to be distasteful. This is later revealed to be Played With as Salem merely found the "flavor" of the betrayal distasteful as it was rooted in love, while she prefers anger.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: For someone who put ten years of effort into learning how to summon and control Salem, Merlot really should have put more thought into what he would do once he succeeded.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Raven desires to kill Salem not from any kind of altruism, but so that she can become an apex predator. And judging from her characterization so far, she is hardly better than Salem in any case.
  • Eye Scream: Happens to Watts curtesy of Blake with his own magic dagger.
  • Fantastic Caste System: People are sorted into 4 general castes, although each nation puts its own spin on things.
    • Noble: The ruling caste. They collect taxes from the Labour Caste, pay Soldier Caste wages, and support in the training of the Hero Caste.
    • Hero: Those who fight and defend against Grimm, as well as perform general Questing. They are the main source of income for the kingdoms as the currency, Lien, comes from defeated Grimm.
    • Soldier: They are composed of the same classes as the hero caste, but failed or didn't attempt to graduate from a Hero school. They are mainly used for the defense of fortified locations and in wars between nations. Paid a wage from the Noble classes.
    • Labour: Also known as the Needs Protection Caste (NPC). They are the main producers of society's goods, and pay taxes to the Noble caste.
    • Other unofficial castes are also occasionally mentioned
      • Mage: The effective ruling caste in Atlas after their civil war.
      • Sentinel: Heroes in Atlas that are chosen to be the bodyguards and companions of Mages and thus elevated above other Heroes.
      • Bandit: Mainly Hero and Soldier Caste members who have abandoned their duty.
      • Entertainer: A subclass of the Labour Caste.
      • Rogue: A subclass of Heroes comprised of Thieves, Assassins, and other 'immoral' Classes.
    • Vacuo is notable for having little regard for the system, putting more emphasis on individual ability regardless of formal Caste.
  • Fantastic Racism: In many varieties and in different degrees, though notably none involving Human-Faunus prejudice as per canon. Examples include:
    • Most Castes look down on the Labour Caste, with "NPC" (Needs Protection Caste) being a commonly used derogatory term.
    • Rogue types are generally seen with suspicion and disdain by almost everyone for their more underhanded methods and containing 'immoral' Classes, with Thief and Assassin receiving particular contempt.
    • Even some classes within the same Caste have rivalries based off of their methods and histories:
      • Warriors, such as Cardin, dislike Knights, such as what Jaune's disguised as, since they believe it to be a less pure version of the Warrior Class, sacrificing Strength for Charisma.
      • Mages (like Weiss initially) in particular hate Assassins since they primarily go for high priority targets that can't fight back at close range, i.e. mages.It later comes out that the real reason that Weiss distrusts Blake is because her father and little brother were killed by an Assassin for the equivalent of a day's wages.
      • Blake expects Jaune to distrust her because she's an Assassin while he's a Knight, someone whose code of honor should prevent him from ever associating with someone of her "dishonorable" class. Jaune, being a Blacksmith in disguise, is too in awe of Blake to consider her anything but a hero.
      • It is pointed out that most Barbarians value Strength above all else and will actively attack and degrade those that they think are weaker than themselves. Nora proves to be the exception to this rule as she is best friends with Ren despite his low Strength.
    • It is implied by Cinder that some of this is enforced by the Nobles in order to keep their power, but a huge chunk of the Fantastic Racism is the result of centuries of conditioning into an inherently flawed system.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Appliance: The Hunters are gifted a set of magic cellphones after their Annual Quest in Atlas.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Torchwick. He'll act the gracious host and businessman, all the while trying to scam students into poverty and force them out of Beacon. It's also a necessary tactic to lower people's guards so that they're more willing to follow his suggestions.
    • Salem. She plays along with whoever summons her, but seems to always do her best to screw them over. Best exemplified with her interactions with Tyrian - everything she said was an act to endear herself to him, just to take it away and break him as he lays dying.
  • Fearless Fool: Summer. While Qrow remembers her fondly as a great person and Hero, he describes her ultimately as a woman whose lack of fear got her killed, and warns Jaune from becoming the same when he notices Jaune being far too calm and focused during a Grimm invasion.
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: The Grand Treaty that regulates what all Castes are allowed to do during a war for all 4 Kingdoms in order to prevent both needless bloodshed due to the difference in levels, and causing Grimm to spawn and overrun whole areas. It's basic rules state:
    • No member of the Hero Caste may be used against other Kingdoms.
    • No member of the Soldier Caste may kill a member of the Labour Caste, except in the case of self-defense.
    • No member of the Labour Caste may draw arms against the Soldier Caste, and any village must surrender to an opposing force, unless garrisoned by the Soldier Caste.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Mistral crew Jaune and the others meet in Book 4 have this set up, with Cinder the Elementalist being the Mage, Mercury the Adept as the Fighter, and Emerald the Mesmer as their Thief. Though interestingly they are all Classes that incorporate elements that let them each serve as two of the three roles.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Basically how Jaune and the others all came together; with him, Nora, Pyrrha, and Ren teaming up in Beacon's initiation quest, then again with Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang joining them in a Dungeon. This all culminates into their forming of the Hunters Guild (sans Blake initially).
  • Flat Character:
    • Most of the main cast not named Jaune, Blake, and Ruby can easily be considered this seeing as they have arguably received less characterization than some OCs that appear for a single Book. This tends to rotate to an extent, as some members of the Hunters gain focus in specific areas of the story in which they briefly build their characters before being quickly relegated to the background once more note  while others haven't even been given that level of attention note . This can cause an inconsistent experience as the relative importance of the main cast members waxes and wanes depending on the situation.
    • Ruby is arguably also this for the first 5 Books of the story as the issues of her Class are so secret that, aside from a greater Chronic Hero Syndrome, she's largely her canon self. This is rectified as of Book 6 with some details of her Class revealed.
    • Even after the author gives up telling the story solely from Jaune's POV, and starts switching perspectives in narration randomly in Book 7, the rest of the cast are still given little development, as the other perspectives simply focus on the situation Jaune is absent from, rather than the characters.
  • Forging Scene: Several. Fitting, given that the Protagonist is a Blacksmith:
    • In the Dungeon, Jaune forges Ruby's scythe out of a dropped weapon and metal removed from the walls.
    • Jaune reinforces his armour with extra metal so as to add more protection.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: After they successfully completed their Annual Quest, Ironwood gives the whole guild Whisper Stones, communication crystals that can connect to other such crystals over a distance of approximately one kilometer. Jaune and the others immediately begin to marvel at how helpful and revolutionary such objects are. While they get a few rare references in the story immediately following this, they are only used once over the next five books. The author even admits to having forgotten the Stones even existed and makes a conscious effort to include them more as of Book 7.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ruby, even more so than canon, as she's incredibly fast even at the start of the story, but is unable to take a hit by even a relatively weak Labour Caste opponent, and is often out of the fight by a single blow. Exemplified by her stats: she has S rank agility making her literally the fastest person on the planet, but X rank Constitution which means she never has and never will gain even a single point in the stat.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Qrow. Sort of. Being a Druid, he has an ability that lets mundane animals view him as this, regardless of his personality. He mainly takes advantage of it to lure and kill unsuspecting animals for food. When Jaune calls him out on it, he simply dismisses it as helping out scavengers like wolves, which are also living things.
  • Glass Cannon: Certain classes, especially Mage types, but particularly Ruby who can deal incredible damage even to high-tier Grimm and Heroes, but is vulnerable to the point even low level Labourers can threaten her.
  • Glowing Eyes: Happens whenever someone levels up or is using a skill.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Mistral has developed this expectation for their Heroes to the point any failure is met with punishment even if the particular Hero wasn't at fault, although the degree of which depends on both the failure and the Hero's status. Pyrrha notes that the expectation is even worse for Prestige Classes as they are viewed with such awe for their inherent power and societal positions, that any amount of failure risks disproportionate consequences such as what happened to Tyrian, and is a big part of why she left Mistral for Vale in order to escape that pressure.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Viktor, a real and experienced Knight of Atlas, is dedicated to accomplishing his Quest to investigate the natural disasters occurring on the Fang, and protecting his long time Mage charge and best friend, but is harsh, demanding, and dismissive of the entire Beacon party (save Weiss, who as a Mage is a social superior in Atlas) tagging along. Later, Qrow explains that this is the typical way to describe all Knights, and is the main reason Jaune's friendly and nonjudgemental behaviour is noted by almost everyone, especially Blake.
    Qrow: "[A Knight is] Brave, courageous, a natural born leader capable of uniting people under a common cause. [...] A Knight is callous and cruel, uncaring of those beneath him or those he considers unimportant."
  • Greater-Scope Villain: What Salem is shaping up to be. She seems to have little interest in humanity, makes no overtly hostile moves against any of our heroes, and only comes forth when she is summoned. This is implied to be because they are all so far beneath her notice as to not even matter.
    Salem:"I am the origin. I am the beginning and the end, I am eternal and ever-present. My children roam this land, and did so long before your kind claimed dominion. In time, they shall claim it as their own once more."
  • Had To Be Sharp: The kingdom of Vacuo, situated in an incredibly harsh desert environment, functions as a sort of meritocracy where the strongest in any given tribe is normally the chief and those that are too weak or old to care for themselves are forced to "return to the sands" so as to not kill their loved ones through their weakness. This is revealed to have been Invoked in the sense that Salem is the one who turned Vacuo into the desert wasteland it is today when the former king asked her to "Make my people stronger."
  • Hand Wave: Happens a number of times to maintain the story's plot.
    • When the Greycloaks are revealed to be a persistent world wide threat, Ozpin explains the decision to deliberately send a group of low Level First Years he barely knows, against higher Level enemies under the reasoning they've succeeded before, and he can't trust anyone else.
    • In Book 5 of the Magnus Arc, overall events are explained by Roux' attempt to summon Salem, but no explanation is given for why the Guild was attacked that revealed the Greycloak's presence, or why Roman pretended to attack the Mistral Commander when the Guild was already planning to head to the invading army. Word of God simply stated it was to show Roman and Neo 'were still around.'
    • After the events of Book 6 where Watts succeeds in making a wish without repercussion from Salem, it's speculated the Greycloaks are trying to learn from each summoning to make wishes safely. How they're able to learn anything when all Greycloaks ultimately die soon after a wish is made, is speculated by others to be the use of portals, although no sign of any portals being present during events is ever noted by Jaune.
    • In Book 7 after the King of Mistral breaks the Grand Treaty and orders the rampant slaughter of villages, the King of Vale sends him home alive with only a public admission of guilt and a few economic deals as punishment. Later such decisions are attempted to be explained by Vale's king knowing Mistral would assassinate their King as punishment, despite a consistent failure to predict Mistral's behavior during the war, and an established history of Mistral's rulers lying to it's citizens about events that hurt their reputation.
    • Again in Book 7 for Atlas decision not to come to Vale's aide, despite purportedly being Vale's allies, during the war, is explained as due to a fear of escalating things into a world war. This not only ignores the fact the story is taken place in a non-industrialized setting, but it's later noted that should Mistral attack again Atlas would step in and thus lead to the exact same situation.
    • The whole scheme between the Vale King and Ozpin in having Jaune infiltrate the Greycloaks deliberately ignores the rather obvious fact Jaune's been instrumental in fighting and killing them, and knows far too much about Salem to be taken in by a mere promise of a wish. When Jaune points this out Ozpin brushes it off as "overestimating" the local members in comparison to it's leaders, despite the local members being capable enough that they can't be infiltrated with anything other than such a high-profile spy like Jaune.
  • The Heart: One of Jaune's main roles in the group along with The Hero and The Leader.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: What the Resilience (Res) Stat is turning out to be. Oobleck explains that it's effects are largely unknown and only Labour Caste members have it as a major stat, leading most to regard it as a useless Dump Stat; but as the story progresses Jaune displays several subtle abilities over others of higher levels that can't be explained by anything other than a higher Res score, which include resisting fatigue, pain, mental interference, and being able to move about when in Salem's presence.
  • The Hero: Played with:
    • This is the purpose of the Hero Caste but several heroes abuse the power and authority for their own gain, and even those that don't generally don't care about the "NPC Caste" beyond as a source of goods that requires protection.
    • Ironically, Jaune, who is the only member of the main cast that isn't of the Hero Caste, seems to most closely align with what most people think a Hero should be. He cares nothing for Class prejudices, having been raised a member of the Labour Caste, often inspires hope or determination in others, either through his actions or his words, and always shows a great deal of care for everyone around him.
      Blake: "Everyone else looks up to you, even if Pyrrha or Nora are stronger on the front lines. There's a reason they chose to make you the Guild Leader."
    • Both Summer Rose and Tyrian Callows were implied to be perfect Heroes, and both of them paid dearly for it.
      • Summer was always eager to help others with no care for the cost to herself or her family. Her overzealous desire to save others, regardless of personal danger, lead to her spending little time with her children and eventually dying on a quest, leaving her family behind to pick up the pieces.
      • Tyrian gave his everything to perform his duty as a hero of Mistral, but, when his charge fled in fear, duty demanded that he chase after and save them, forcing him to leave his fellow Heroes behind. His charge, the Queen of Mistral, ran away from her carriage and drowned in a swamp before he could save her and his comrades died since he wasn't around to save them. The king condemned him a Forsaken so no one would believe the embarrassing truth. He didn't take it well.
    • Also something Ruby aspires to be in imitation to her mother. Best seen during the Eldon Quest with Jaune. When the threat is discovered to be human bandits rather than Grimm, Ruby decides to press on and save the village immediately despite the level of threat being potentially greater, while Jaune (and everyone else who learned about it later) believes it's better and safer to delay for a little while to get help. Afterwards it's revealed to be a major concern for both Yang and Qrow, as Ruby's low Constitution means she's even more likely to be killed.
  • Hero Academy: Beacon, as well as its counterparts in the other kingdoms, train members of the Hero Caste to become Heroes capable of defending mankind against the forces of Grimm. Dropouts are relegated to the Soldier Caste, a group that is loyal to kingdoms rather than mankind as a whole.
  • Heroic Bystander: The Hunter on the walls of Ansel who kills the Mistralian mage that was targeting Jaune. This rallies the rest of the villagers into taking action as well.
    "We can kill them," she screamed. "Fight them! KILL THEM!"
  • History Repeats: The endings of the sixth and seventh books. After suffering physical and mental anguish, Jaune returns to Vale too late to prevent a catastrophe but just in time to watch as things devolve around him and untold numbers of people die. This all culminates with the princess that he has come to greatly respect and care for being lethally injured and Jaune holding them gently as they pass. He then rejoins with the rest of the Hunters, meets back with them at their guild hall, and they all come to something of a reconciliation.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A definite theme that the villains all seem to share.
  • Hollywood Tactics:
    • Seen during Book 5 in the war between Vale and Mistral. The first major battle shown effectively consists of both sides' infantry, cavalry, and long range artillery basically charging and fighting their counterparts without any greater use of tactics.
    • Happens again during the Magnis arc where the Mistral army's plan is to immediately lay siege to the fortress town without any regard for the safer approach of blockading and starving them out. Lampshaded by one Mistral officer who is dismissed without much explanation, and later revealed the Mistral forces didn't have enough of their own supplies for anything but a do-or-die approach.
  • Honor Before Reason: Mistral's mindset seems to be based entirely on this.
    • One early example is that they demand that Heroes always succeed and punish them for failure no matter if they are personally at fault or not as seen when they scapegoated Tyrian to take the blame for the Mistral Queen's cowardice getting herself killed.
    • Their entire approach of the war between Mistral and Vale also seems to revolve around this. They first declare war over a series of naval incidents where it's questioned if Vale was even at fault; they then reject any diplomatic compromise under the excuse that Vale not immediately agreeing to their demands is some form of insult; they then try to outright conquer the entire kingdom of Vale despite numerous characters pointing out that they don't have the military force to realistically hold it for any real length of time; and in the early conflicts we see commanders simply ram their armies into each other, and run too far ahead of existing supply lines in order to immediately storm a key fortress. One really has to question how Mistral has even survived up to this point.
    • Seen again at the start of Book 6 where Ozpin and Cinder work to have the Mistral King attend a celebration in Vale to honor the soldiers who died at Magnis as part of a plan to convince both sides to end the war. Despite the inherent nonsensity for the leader of an invading kingdom to enter the heart of enemy territory, and celebrate cooperation while planning to go right back to war, Cinder assures that the king must attend as to do otherwise would be an insult to the fallen soldiers.
    • Ultimately subverted at the end of Book 6 by Mistral, who takes advantage of Vale's Peace Conference and ceasefire to move their army through the Kingdom of Vale to destroy every under-guarded village in their path and slaughter everyone they encounter, including civilian Labour Caste. They then try to launch an assassination attempt on Vale's King in the middle of Beacon and use their own Heroes try to kill all of Beacon's, breaking the Grand Treaty, and showing there is no length they will not go to attain victory.
  • Hypocrite:
    • After The Reveal, Blake lays into Jaune saying that what hurts most is that he didn't trust her when she bared everything to him and concludes that a relationship can't survive without trust. This seems to entirely ignore the fact that Blake has been keeping secrets of her own from Jaune and has barely told him anything about where she's from or how she earned the title of Kinslayer. The closest Blake has come to baring everything is when she said she would reveal her past "some day", and Jaune said she didn't need to because it would make her uncomfortable. Word of God has attempted to explain how Blake isn't being hypocritical for her keeping an incident from her past secret while being angry with Jaune for his as her past doesn't directly affect others, while Jaune's was an active lie with practical consequences for the rest of the group. While the difference in the nature of their secrets is certainly true, it doesn't change the root of the issue being about a lack of trust, as it still leaves Blake with a major secret about herself she doesn't share (thus making the 'bare everything' notion completely false), as well as misses the fact that, in healthy relationships, what affects one person affects the other as well regardless of if it's "direct" or not.
    • Also arguably the entire Hunter's Guild after Jaune's true Class is revealed and almost all of them lay into Jaune for both deliberately deceiving them, and not telling them the truth sooner. They do this after it has been revealed over the course of multiple Books that almost everyone in the guild has aspects of themselves that cause them to defy traditional Caste expectations, and have never fully revealed their personal details to everyone else either, even when they would be pertinent to the situation at hand. This especially holds true for their Passives which in most cases directly influence how each member can fight. Even Ruby is not exempt, as she attempted to persuade Jaune to tell the others the truth about his Class, but showed no desire to reveal the specifics of her own Class to the guild.
    I - Z 
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Pyrrha's reason for coming to learn at Beacon instead of staying at Mistral.
  • I Meant to Do That: Jaune the first time he uses a lance. He misses his target entirely but the results are still fairly impressive:
    I'd aimed for a tall lizard-like creature in the front row, but I missed it by a hideous margin, instead striking a Canis maybe four rows behind and eight Grimm to the left. If Blake had been there to see it, she'd have palmed her face and sighed.
    As it was, the men had no idea what I'd been aiming at, and as the wood punctured through the Canis' face, pinning it to another Grimm behind and killing both, they stared in absolute awe.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Jaune for the majority of Book 5, with every personal decision he makes being debatably one screw up after another. Made more egregious as the reasons why his decisions are inadvisable are laid out immediately before he makes them.
    • The Kingdom of Vale seems to hold it in all their decisions with the war against Mistral. Their constant belief in being able to achieve a peaceful resolution, and that everyone will uphold the Grand Treaty, consistently leaves them open to Mistral taking advantage to launch surprise attacks that they are completely off guard against It comes to a head in Book 6, where Vale tries to hold a Peace Conference, and allows Mistral's forces into their own capital, which naturally allows them to attack and burn smaller villages with impunity, and launch an attack against both the capital and Beacon itself.
    • Jaune grabs this yet again at the end of Chapter 13 of Book 6, when he needs to warn Ozpin of Mistral's treachery. Not only does he forget to use the Whisper Stones Ironwood gave him for communicating with his guild over large distances but he foolishly stops to talk to his team after they notice him right as he gets within shouting range of Ozpin, costing him precious seconds that could have been spent trying to warn Ozpin and prevent the King of Vale from being stabbed by Cinder.
    • Held again in Book 7 by Ozpin and the Vale King First, as they devise a plan to have Jaune infiltrate the Greycloaks while not even considering that the Greycloaks may be interested in acquiring the highest Level Blacksmith in the history of Remnant for themselves and would be able to easily acquire and isolate said individual considering they are known to have a highly skilled teleporter on their side.
    • Later held to a lesser degree by Ozpin in the same Book, as he sends the rest of the Hunters to comb the city and ascertain Jaune and Lisa's location after they go into hiding using their Whisper Stones, but Jaune's only viable hiding spot is in the Emerald Forest outside of Beacon, and even if he were hiding in the city, he can't use his Whisper Stone in Vale lest he compromise his mission.
    • Held again by Ozpin at the start of Book 8 when he and Jaune discuss the contents of Beacon's Vault and all the useful equipment inside it. Ozpin reveals he has no intention to fully utilize the contents for the assault against Raven and the Greycloaks, but instead will hold them back in the event should the plan fail and Vale needs to be defended from Salem or Raven. This despite the fact Salems already been revealed to turn lands into wastelands and call down meteors, and Raven can teleport anywhere to kill people at anytime, thus making such precautions completely pointless.
    • Held by Blake of all people in Book 8 when she sneaks away from Beacon by herself to try to kill Raven alone. Cementing her Hypocrite status permanently.
  • Indy Ploy: Jaune is quite adept at this as the story progresses, and is often the deciding factor for how he and the rest come out alive. Justified as being a Blacksmith, he has no experience in combat, and often has no knowledge of the true situation in Quests beforehand or finds things often going From Bad to Worse.
  • Info Dump:
    • The epilogue of Book 5. Ozpin and Cinder are forced to lay out the entire plot of the Magnis Arc, due to more attention being given to Jaune's personal struggles in the story. YMMV on how much sense any of it makes.
    • Most of the first few chapters of Book 7 also consist of this, where the whole local and geo-political situation of the war's aftermath and Jaune's Class change has to be laid out in order to set up the story.
    • Word of God is Book 8 is intended to be almost entirely this for many of the story's hanging questions. YMMV on whether the timing is appropriate or comes off as needlessly dragged out like the Res stat.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Initially Jaune's friends constantly refer to members of the Labour Caste as NPCs, though not out of derision, but simply because they honestly believe that's how the Labour Caste is referred as. When Jaune points out it's derogatory, they make an effort to correct themselves.
  • Inter-Caste Romance: Seems to be generally frowned upon if not outright forbidden. The only confirmed case is Weiss's mother and father, a Mage of Atlas and a common Soldier respectively, and even then it only somewhat applies as both were Hero classes despite the differences in their political station.
  • It Amused Me: Pretty much the only reason Salem talks to Jaune is the novelty of meeting the same human twice, and letting Blake, Pyrrha, and Weiss help Qrow in fighting Tyrian to make the battle more interesting.
  • It's All About Me: The whole reason storms and disasters were caused on the Fang, was so that Merlot could become a god by sacrificing Faunus Labour Caste in order to summon Salem. Then he goes the ultimate step by betraying and murdering Glenn, his loyal Sentinel and love, for his own gain.
  • Kick the Dog: Salem takes full advantage of Tyrian's last moments to emotionally torture him just to wring out the best kind of negativity from him before he dies.
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: How Penny ultimately kills the monstrously transformed Merlot.
  • King Incognito: Cinder is actually betrothed to the Prince of Mistral, but neglected to mention it as she did not believe it relevant at the time, nor did she have any way to prove her status.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Glynda Goodwitch, whose class is Warlock, has many curses and arcane spells, is one of the most powerful Heroes in Vale, and is even called "The Dark Warlock of Beacon." Best exemplified in her fight against Watts.
  • The Leader: Jaune continues to develop as one as the series progresses by both inspiring his comrades and often providing a plan that sees them triumphant.
  • Level Grinding: This being an RPG Mechanicsverse, everyone partakes of this to one degree or another with boosting, a process wherein a higher level adventurer weakens a monster for a lower member to gain levels, exists but is looked down on by some. The amount of experience given varies based on the task with killing Grimm seeming to give more than any mundane activity. This means that members of the Labour Caste are almost always locked at a lower level than those of the Hero or Soldier Caste. Jaune, who had completed a very large amount of work under his Blacksmith father, was Level 12 at the start of the story, four levels higher than his old Labour Caste friends but still four levels lower than the average Beacon applicant.
  • Literal Genie: Salem has shades of this. Understandable given she is compelled to obey whoever summons her. Salem later reveals she can play this straight or refrain, depending on not only the nature of the wish, but also her particular view of the summoner.
  • Loan Shark: The Hunters run afoul of one before they even properly become a guild.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: It's revealed that Weiss, Blake, and Ren pulled this on the others by switching Ozpin and Cinder's scrolls that give them authority over both Vale and Mistral's army with mundane Quest scrolls without telling anyone else in the guild about their actions. Jaune doesn't get upset about it when their efforts prove to get the Hunters out of trouble, uphold the Grand Treaty, and keep the Greycloaks from learning their true mission, even though it did endanger his life.
  • Luck Stat: Brought up several times, but mostly as a joke. If it does exist, it's hidden.
  • The Magocracy: Atlas, with mages and other magic using classes effectively replacing Nobles.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: The ones behind the attempted assassination of Lisa Lavender, weary of creating a martyr, send an assassin to kill the target in their sleep before setting their quarters on fire to dispose of any evidence and make it look like a simple building fire.
  • McGuffin: Jaune's amulet, which changes his class name above his head from Blacksmith to Knight, and which Salem recognizes from a previous owner.
  • Money Spider: This being an RPG Mechanicsverse, the Grimm's bodies not only disappear upon their deaths as in canon, they also leave behind an amount of Lien corresponding to their respective difficulties and have a chance of leaving behind a Random Drop.
  • Moral Myopia: The Greycloaks, who are engaging in mass murder and terrorism on a global scale in order to spawn Grimm and summon Salem for their own selfish desires.
  • Motive Decay:
    • In the beginning of the story Jaune is driven to be a Hero despite his Labour Caste status out of a clear sense of trying to disprove societal prejudices about the worth of people being determined by their Classes' capabilities. As the story progresses, however, Jaune's reasons are lost sight of till he becomes just a generic Protaganist that's swept up in events he goes along with with little choice in the matter. Not helped is the fact what drove him in the first place frequently changes in his inner-monologues from Book to Book.
    • What even drives Ruby is also hard to nail down, as it changes from one instance to the next without pause. Initially it's set up as her being obsessed with Heroism to emulate her mother, but the next instance it's changed to being the very first Reaper with no precedent on where she belongs Caste wise, and so her trying to pave the way for future Reapers by starting at being a Hero (as it's easier to be cast down the social latter than climb up), and then speculated by Jaune that she's driven by an addiction to Leveling as much as possible with being a Hero the best way to go about it. It feels like the author's just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks at this point.
  • Multiple Narrative Modes: The story is largely told from Jaune's perspective. However, the point of view sometimes switches to the Third Person of other characters as of chapter 93 in order to better express aspects of the plot as well as to give other characters more attention (a frequent criticism of the story).
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Watts to Jacques for Willow. The Sentinel believed that, as it was common for Mages and their Sentinels to enter into relationships, it was only a matter of time until he and his Mage did the same. Unfortunately for him, his charge met, fell in love, and started a family with a Fencer from the Soldier Caste. Watts hired an Assassin to take care of the problem, husband and children all.
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: Averted by Blake and Jaune. When the two are trapped in a cabin by a blizzard and decide they want a pleasant last experience before freezing to death, they are found and rescued by the others before they can get too far.
  • My Greatest Failure: What Jaune considers his inability to tank the Beowolf that nearly killed Ruby in the Dungeon. Since then, it becomes one of the driving motivations for his becoming stronger, and placing the well being of his friends before himself.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: Jaune achieves this when he changes his Class to Swordmaster during his fight with Cinder, which grants him better base Stats, as well as more direct combat skills. It is implied that others could potentially obtain the same ability.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Invoked. As expected in an RPG world, new Skills are given when one reaches a higher Level. Qrow later confirms the existence of Skill trees, called "Paths," which determine what skills a person earns based largely on the specific role said individual takes in life so as to better aide them.
    • A notable example occurs in Book 6 when Jaune attains the ability to Purify objects against demonic power, right in the middle of Salem's attempts to kill him, which allows Jaune to purify his amulet and defend against her.
    • Happens again in Book 6 when Jaune changes his Class in his fight against Cinder, giving him a plethora of new abilities on top of his already existing ones.
  • One-Man Army: Prestige Classes are seen as this as their inherent power is greater than normal classes; although this can also apply to any Class if they are able to reach a high enough level. Invoked by Qrow who as a high-leveled Druid notes he's able to single-handily take on an entire moderately garrisoned village - Soldiers, Labourers, and all - at least in theory.
  • Order vs. Chaos: There are shades of this in the war between Mistral and Vale. Mistral represents Order, as it is shown to have a more organized military with a more rigid and unified command structure which serves them well in the war's initial phases. Vale represents Chaos as it has a much looser organization which is less suited to coordinated maneuvers but is more capable of acting in peacetime where the primary threat is from random and localized incursions by the Grimm.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • The Hunters are one for the Grey Cloaks, interrupting or otherwise thwarting their plans when they come across them in Atlas, Mistral and Vale.
    • Jaune is one for everyone he comes across thanks to his amulet, as absolutely no one expects the Knight to actually be a Blacksmith.
    • It's implied that Raven is one for the Hunters in Book 6 as her portals allowed the Greycloaks to infiltrate the necessary temple and provided them with sacrifices needed to summon Salem.
  • Parental Neglect: Summer. While often described as a loving mother, Yang amends that it was only when she was around, as she was more often away on a quest to help others no matter the situation with her family, until she eventually died on one. This has caused Yang to remember her with some bitterness, while Ruby was too young to understand, and regards her as a Hero whose example she should strive for as well.
  • Peace Conference: Mistral and Vale arrange for one along with a ceasefire after their two forces united in the face of a massive Grimm horde at the town of Magnis.
  • Plothole:
    • Through most of the story Salem is frequently summoned through a ritual involving human sacrifice, but come Book 6 it's revealed she can grant wishes to anyone she wants even if they aren't aware of her existence, which is how Jaune received the amulet at the start of the story. The author attempts to Hand Wave the full implications of this in Chapter 7 of Book 7 by having Jaune postulate that Salem had already been summoned prior to Jaune stating his desires to her so as to avoid the problem of why the world isn't more affected due to her Jackass Genie shenanigans on an unsuspecting wisher, though this still doesn't explain why Cinder heard her voice at the festival amphitheater, nor the issue of why Salem would grant Jaune's wish at all instead of her original summoner's, and when he didn't know of her existence to make a wish to her to begin with. Word of God also states that Salem can stick around and grant wishes to anyone who makes them rather than just her summoner. However, this still doesn't settle any issues about why the world isn't already destroyed long before the story starts. note 
    • During the battle between Cinder and Jaune, where Jaune is stabbed and fuses with a sword, how or why Jaune is able to get back up and continue to function despite being impaled and thus leading to both organ damage and restricted blood flow (to say nothing of metal entering the blood stream) is never explained. Also comes up again in the opposite way when Jaune is made to constantly battle while wounded after being kidnapped by Raven, Jaune never attempts to seal his wounds by inserting and forging metal into them, as he did when fighting Cinder, since that's apparently a valid medical option.
      • Attempted to be filled come Book 7 where it's revealed Jaune died in his fight with Cinder, and forging the magical sword with himself brought him back to life with his dual Class, not only does this utterly fail to address any of the above issues, but also leaves the rather obvious problem of how Jaune manages to use his forging skills to merge with the sword while already dead.
    • When the Levels of the rest of the Hunters are revealed, they often don't make sense in being near Jaune's as the story fails to show when and how they achieved them, and most of it's members neither work as hard as Jaune, nor are placed in the kind of dangerous situations he's frequently seen as often.
    • During Jaune's kidnapping, where he's continually pitted against Greycloaks while being wounded and sick, Jaune starts becoming addicted to Leveling and succumbing to Raven's view. Jaune's high Resilience score that supposedly provides mental fortitude, and frequently displaying a Skill that keeps him calm and focused during emotional and mental turmoil are notably absent through all of this. Hand Waved by the author as Word of God asserts it's Jaune's Resiliance that even keeps him going as anyone else would just have broken, and give up. However YMMV, as no sign of this is indicated in the story itself, this explanation is pure assertion, and still has Jaune mentally cracking over a very short time, and over an issue of self-defense against enemies eager to kill him, which he has done several times before with no issues.
    • Also notable during Jaune's kidnapping and being introduced to Raven's gladiatorial system, is a complete lack of Grimm being spawned from all the death and general negativity with the Greycloaks camp, avoiding the issue of why they aren't constantly attacked. Also absent again, when Vale experiences a riot in protest over New Dawn's leader being attacked and kidnapped. As of Book 7 the Grimm have been entirely forgotten in the story.
    • Again in Book 7 where the beginning of the Book goes into how the Noble Classes controls the Labour Classes due to the former's high Cha stat compared to the latter's low Res stat. Come the climax of the Book many Labour Classes start rioting in Vale without a single attempt or explanation of why the Noble Classes don't just tell them to stop and go home which the Labourers should be compelled to obey. As of Book 7 when and how high Cha seems to work depends entirely on the plot.
    • Book 8 opens up with another major one as Ozpin explains how Leveling addiction is supposedly quite a common occurance for Heroes, but not only is this never seen at any point earlier in the story where the early growth rate made Leveling more dramatic and easier, but also leaves the major issue of why there aren't thousands of Level-obsessed Ravens trying to rampantly murder everyone for more Exp, as well as how the Greycloaks can even form as an organization when by such explanations they'd easily turn and kill each other for more Levels till the whole group self-destructs. YMMV on whether this comes off as an Ass Pull for the sake of drama or not.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Blake, Ren, and Weiss's plan to conceal the true scrolls' locations from their own allies so that they would act like their scrolls were important worked, but it also convinced Jaune that he needed to defend his actually mundane scroll with his life while facing off against Neo. Luckily, it never came to that.
  • Positive Discrimination: Explored alongside the other aspects of prejudices and discrimination as a theme of the story. It's also the reason Jaune and the others are tricked into taking a ruined guildhall by the Peddler Azure, who is really Roman under an illusionary spell, as Jaune's belief in the Labour Caste being more honest and victimized than Heroes keeps him from being more critical of the deal. From then on Jaune resolves not to fall into this again.
  • Power Levels: In addition to traditional levels, classes can be subdivided into different tiers based on their potential to gain stats.
    • Tier 3 are considered weaker and less useful than most other classes due to their lower base stats. They are thought to be rarely seen due to the majority of them having died out.
    • Tier 2 are the most common and seem to have an even spread of stats that enables them to improve even outside of their class.
    • Tier 1 are specialist classes that focus on one specific skill-set and build around that, sacrificing flexibility.
    • Prestige Classes are rare, one-in-a-million classes whose births are even recorded by the kingdoms. They are almost always better than any other class of an equal level at what they focus on.
    • Grimm are organized into two general categories - Lesser Grimm and Elder Grimm, with Beowolves somewhere in between the two. Lesser Grimm are generally only a threat in groups and Soldiers or reasonably organized Labour Caste can deal with them without too much trouble. Elder Grimm are rarer and much more powerful, requiring the attention of a well prepared Hero to deal with them effectively.
  • Protective Charm: After he Purifies it of Salem's influence Jaune's amulet is now able to resist and repel Demonic taint.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Jaune and the rest who compose the Hunters Guild. Comprised of a disguised Labour Caste civilian just entering the Hero life, a 15 year old determined to prove herself no matter what, her boisterous overprotective older sister, a proud, acerbic, but ultimately kind Mage, a powerful Champion that resents her special Class, an excitable Barbarian and her Monk companion, and a mysterious high-leveled Assassin. And by Book 4 they are being called upon to directly fight against a global terrorist group.
  • Reasoning with God: Jaune to Salem in Book 4. He proposes that, as her presence naturally paralyzes those around her, her orders to Tyrian to kill them would be unfulfilled as she would be the one responsible for their deaths, not her servant, and such an act would not prove said servant's worth. Becomes Subverted as Salem does not care for how worthy Tyrian is, so a fair fight doesn't matter. Then Double Subverted as, while the fairness of the fight doesn't matter, how entertaining it is does so she agrees to remove her presence from three heroes of Jaune's choosing.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Jaune and Blake, who start as strangers and acquaintances in Book 1, are friends with hints of mutual attraction in Book 2, and officially become a couple by the end of Book 3.
  • Retcon:
    • In the prologue, Jaune's narration states he bought the amulet he uses to change his class, while later chapters state he found the amulet in the woods near his home.Explanation  This entry is now gone as the prologue makes no mention of how the amulet was found, merely that it was.
    • The text of Jaune's Runesmithing skill first states that it can engrave runes onto both weapons and armor. Later, the author and newer renditions of the skill on Jaune's stat sheet state that it can only engrave runes onto weapons. This change is presumably made to limit Runesmithing's utility. Then, in chapter six of Book six, Jaune engraves a rune onto a piece of armor with no difficulty but the following update to his stat sheets still only states that he can engrave runes onto weapons.
    • The description of the rune Jaune engraves on the sword he forges in Chapter 12 of Book 7 exactly matches that of the symbol found on both the doors to the Vacuoan temple, and Jaune's amulet but he states that has never seen it before. The author later corrects this to have Jaune actually recognize the symbol.
  • The Reveal: Jaune is outed as a Blacksmith as of chapter 10 of Book 6.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Coco in regards to Torchwick for his scamming her, Yatsuhashi, and Fox that lead to Fox getting kicked out of Beacon while the other two stayed. When Jaune comes to her asking for a few extra hands to help raid Torchwick's guild hall to recover stolen property, she recruits her entire guild to set fire to the forest, and start a giant brawl in the streets between guilds to ensure they're successful before the teachers intervene.
  • Right Through the Wall: Revealed by a drunken Ruby, that Jaune and Blake aren't nearly as quiet and discreet when they're together as they think.
  • Rite of Passage: Successfully completing an Annual Quest is required to progress to the next year in Beacon and the other Hero Academies.
  • Ritual Magic: While most spells are specific to an individual based on their class, a few seem to be accessible to anyone able to supply the requisite energy. Examples so far include portals and Salem's Summoning Ritual.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Averted. Somehow. Word of God is that for Salem to grant a wish it must be in a way that kills the wisher. The author even goes on to list ways various wishes could go apocalyptically wrong in response to reader suggestions. There's even an in-story opportunity when Raven tells Jaune how Salem pulled a meteor to Remnant in order to explain how she obtained the metal for her Infinity +1 Sword. How or why the world isn't already destroyed by the story's start has yet to be explained.
  • Rogue Gal on Hero Guy Drama: The romantic relationship between Blake as an Assassin and Jaune as a Knight is seen with derision and scorn by the general Beacon students, but is the only form of societal pressure the two have come across, and they easily dismiss it.
  • Royal Blood: As classes are (supposedly) passed down from parents to children, and seeing as the Noble Caste exists and there is also a god king in Mistral, this seems to be the case at least in Vale and Mistral with Atlas being the standout Mage ruled kingdom
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse:
    • The main point of the story is based around people being born with a class that determines their role and fate in society and the main character, Jaune, hiding his class to become a hero.
    • Beyond that, everyone has a hidden level, stats, and class based skills.
    • Paths act as a sort of talent tree as the skills that a person will acquire are heavily influenced by what they focus on in life.
  • Sadistic Choice: For the people of Vacuo, who have to keep traveling between oases, the infirm or elderly are a significant drain. So when someone is too weak to move on, they stay behind and "return to the desert" rather than be a burden for their loved ones.
  • Secret Art: Jaune's Runesmithing, as he seems to be the only person who knows about the skill. This is implied to be because, as Jaune is the only known Blacksmith to have tried to be a Hero, his Path is trying to provide him with the means to accomplish his goal and this is the closest thing to a combat skill that it could give him.
  • Secret Keeper: Several.
    • Yang and Qrow are ones for Ruby. What exactly a Reaper is and what issues come with it is largely unknown in-universe, and is not something that either are willing to talk about for Ruby's sake.
    • Cinder of all people is one for Jaune. She doesn't know that he is actually a Blacksmith, but it's hinted that she suspects the class above his head to be a lie due to their interactions during their first meeting.
    • Ruby is revealed to be one to Jaune in Chapter Five of Book Six, tearfully confessing that she is aware that Jaune is lying about his Class, immediately after making him one of her secret keepers.
  • Series Continuity Error: Due to the length of the story, and perhaps Coeur's focus being split between numerous works, an increasing number of facts and details are changed the longer the story progresses. Such examples include:
    • Book 5 begins right at the start of Beacon's school year and doesn't take more than a week or two till the epilogue. Come the start of Book 6, the year is half-way over, with Ruby indicating that only a week has passed since the events of Book 5.
    • Chapter 15 of Book 5 states that a circular series of markings are used in Salem's summoning ritual and that the ritual is brought to an end when the symbols are disrupted. In Chapter 15 of Book 6 and all later instances, inscriptions are no longer needed to summon Salem.
    • In Chapter 4 of Book 1, it was explained that Hero Academies receive no funding from the Noble Caste and that all of their funding comes from their students. Come Chapter 4 of Book 7, Ozpin laments how Beacon hasn't received enough money to properly operate from the government, something the king's steward states he does frequently.
    • One occurs in Book 7, Chapter 5, wherein Jaune states that Oobleck did not know the full name of the Res stat when he was actually the first person to explain it as Resilience in Chapter 11 of Book 1.
    • In Chapter 11 of Book 7:
      • The first we see of Jaune in this chapter, he is having an arrow removed from his shoulder after the ambush of the previous chapter. Said arrow was already removed in the previous chapter when a Thief ripped it out.
      • Raven states that a Beacon teacher is required to have a Level of 75. However, in Chapter 3 of Book 4, Glynda stated that Beacon only requires a Level of 60 from its educators.
    • In Chapter 12 of Book 7, Jaune's internal dialogue mentions that he has only told Ozpin, the king, and the guild about his Runesmithing but we have only ever seen him convey this infomation to Ruby, Ozpin, and perhaps his family.
    • Blake stated in Book 2 that she was Level 24 by the age of 13, but in Book 8 she states that she was actually close to Level 30 before the age of 7.
    • Yang said in Chapter 6 of Book 3 that she was ten years old when Summer passed away, but in Chapter 9 of Book 8, her age at the time of the incident was changed to seven.
    • Jaune speculates that Ruby's Agility score may be above 500 in Chapter 12 of Book 8, but Ruby already told Jaune her agility score in Chapter 2 of the same Book.
    • Jaune states in Chapter 15 of Book 8 that he has only found Runes that "give five or so of a stat", but none that would give more than ten. In Chapter 2 of the same book, however, he mentioned that he had found a Greater Rune of Dexterity which gives a boost of 12 points to its applicable stat.
    • In Chapter 16 of Book 8:
      • Ellayne is referred to as a Warrior when her Class is actually Fighter.
      • Jaune places a Frost Rune on Ellayne's sword even though he already placed a Constitution Rune on her weapon in Chapter 2 of Book 8.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Attempted by both Jaune and co. against the Paladin Watts, and Torchwick against the Beacon Priest Tsune during their battle. Each side fails due to both healers being of much higher levels, capable in a fight, and aware of this trope.
  • Show Some Leg: Whenever Jaune or Ren fail to persuade men with words, Yang has stepped in to emphasize her generous figure to make them more cooperative.
  • The Six Stats: Every person in Remnant is born with the six classic stats, in addition to Agility (Agi) which denotes the ability to move and dodge, and Resilience (Res) which has unknown abilities.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Averted by Jaune in the Magnis Quest when a Blake-disguised Neo sneaks into his room at night to murder him, and he wakes up. Of course he believes it's another one of Blake's nightly visits, so she instead proceeds to make-out with him before attempting to strangulate him.
  • Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: One of the major themes of living in an RPG World, where the Class you're born with determines your role in society, and discussed between Jaune and Cinder.
  • Smug Super: Watts, a high level Paladin, spends as much time mocking and gloating over Jaune and co. as he does beating them with contemptuous ease. Even when Miss Goodwitch shows up, he can't help but state his confidence in winning if circumstances were a little different.
  • Someone Has to Die: A wish must be made to Salem once she is summoned in order for her to leave and any wish Salem grants must in some way be capable of killing the wisher, meaning that any wish made with the actual intent of banishing Salem is inherently a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: A common result of Classes being inherited, where children have a higher chance of being the same Class as one of their immediate parents, though not always. Best exemplified with Jaune's family, where Jaune inherents his father's Blacksmith class, and all seven daughters are Shopkeepers like their mother.
  • Stunned Silence: Jaune stuns the entirety of Ansel and their visitors when he disarms a murderous Mistralian Knight and burns him alive before reforging Crocea Mors from the corpse's armor.
  • Summoning Ritual:
    • Salem has been called up thrice by the Greycloaks.
    • Cinder's Phoenix may also count as it seems to take orders from, and act semi-autonomously of, its caster.
  • Superpower Lottery: Prestige Classes. They are mentioned several times throughout the story as being much stronger than equivalent classes of the same level with superior stats and abilites, and stand out to the point their very births are recorded. Examples so far include:
    • The Champion Class such as Pyrrha and the bodyguard to the King of Vale, who are a superior Warrior type that historically were used to settle entire wars in single duels.
    • The Elementalist Class like Cinder, a Mage-Melee cross type that specializes in only a single kind of elemental magic.
    • The Paragon Class like Tyrian, who are the perfect embodiments of the Hero Class with A rank Stats in every category.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Conflicts between Castes boil down to this, but with Resilience-Charisma-Strength (or other applicable combat stat) - assuming levels are more or less equal, anyway.
    • Labour has Res, which trumps Cha but is weak to Str.
    • Nobles have Cha, which trumps Str but is weak to Res.
    • Heroes/Soldiers have Str, which trumps Res but is weak to Cha.
  • Their First Time: Jaune and Blake have theirs together after attending Beacon's end-of-the-year festival.
  • The Theocracy: Mistral is governed by a state religion that glorifies the King as a God Emperor with unquestioned rule. How seriously this is taken seems to vary person to person, but the attitude is a pervasive part of Mistral's cultural identity that the foreign guild finds a little overbearing, much to Pyrrha's embarrassment.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: Jaune creates Crocea Mors to the exact same specifications each time he crafts it. The original steel sword was shattered in the battle with Watts but Jaune gathered some of the shards and reforged the blade using Vacuan Silver. Jaune perfectly recreates the blade again when he gets hold of some enchanted metal. When that blade is similarly broken, he makes a new sword from scratch but still with the same shape, weight, balance, and reach as each of the previous ones. Each of these swords is still Crocea Mors according to Jaune's second Passive, Blade Bond, which increases damage dealt in proportion to the length of time the same sword has been wielded.
    • Somehow this even applies with entirely different swords that don't have any trace of the original blade in them, but just has the same physical traits of length and balance that Jaune merely always calls every blade 'Corcea Mors.'Lampshaded at the start of Book 8 where Jaune notes it makes absolutely no sense, but works regardless.
  • Threatening Shark: When Jaune takes a dip in the ocean on their quest to Mistral, he is surrounded by a shiver of sharks with one quickly latching onto his leg. Justified as they were drawn to the large amount of bodies tied to the ocean floor and the one that grabbed him quickly pulled him to the surface, as it was asked to by the Druid, Qrow. All of the sharks then work together and attack the large Grimm that had knocked Jaune into the ocean to begin with.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The group of Mistral soldiers that Jaune and Blake escort in Book 5. Not only do they try to kill their unarmed Vale prisoners while the two Heroes are briefly away, they also insult and dismiss both Jaune and Blake once they're caught, while flaunting the Grand Treaty's broad rules of Class protections, and then try to continue killing their prisoners right in front of the two. As a result, one soldier is killed accidentally after Jaune steps in to defend a prisoner in the midst of an attack; the rest die by Blake's hands in order to protect Jaune from possible execution.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As per RPG mechanics, killing Grimm or completing specific Labour tasks grants Experience allowing everyone to gain Levels and become stronger.
  • Time Skip: There are several throughout the story, usually a few months at a time after a Book ends.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The Mistral soldiers ordered to attack Ansel thought the Blacksmith who went out to greet them was not a threat to them or their plans. They were very wrong.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: It is directly stated that those in power would see Jaune executed and made an example of should his status as a Blacksmith be revealed. This is despite the fact that he played an integral part in saving potentially hundreds of lives in both Atlas and Vacuo and that both the kingdoms of Mistral and Vale only remain standing because of his actions.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Invoked by Word of God. Due to the story being told entirely from Jaune's perspective and his initially isolated upbringing, certain world building facts about RPG Remnant may be initially inaccurate, and thus corrected later.
  • War Is Hell: Invoked. Despite the medieval setting, and lack of media showing people the consequences directly, the general attitude of society has taken up this viewpoint. Justified, as Grimm are created due to negativity, and thus not only appear directly on the battlefield to make things even worse, but also increases the likelihood of larger society being attacked as well. Thus the mere act of war, however restrained it's carried out, endangers everyone. This is made even starker when the guild witnesses a battle between Vale and Mistral, and Jaune's focus is more on the specific gore and visceral of the conflict than the overall fight.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 9 of Book 6. Not only does Jaune find out that his Path is actually trying to help him combat Salem, but since he Purified his Amulet his Class is no longer hidden to the rest of the guild.
    • As of Book 6, Chapter 12, the Peace Conference mentioned above appears to have been turned into a trap for Vale, as Mistralian Heroes and Soldiers plan to eradicate the Valean armies while they are helpless and annex Vale as a part of Mistral. All under the order of their God King, who considers themselves "not bound by the laws of mortals".
  • Wham Line:
    • Ruby gives one in Chapter Five of Book Six when she confesses to being aware that Jaune is lying about his Class, and has been for quite a while.
      "Thay's why I now you didn't just find Crescent Rose! That's why I know you're lying!"
    • Book 6, Chapter 14. Jaune changes his Class.
      JAUNE
      SWORDMASTER
    • Book 8, Chapter 6. When the Hunters attack a ship of Greycloak pirates, their leader recognises Blake and calls off the attack and kneels.
      Adam: Cease. For the Lady of the Mirage Isles has returned!
    • Book 8, Chapter 8. As Blake discloses just what happened to her mother, she reveals something no-one saw coming.
      "But there was someone else with her. She wasn't the only one leading the attackers and this person did wear a cloak. A bright white cloak. She was a Warrior, and the one who attacked my father. Probably the one who killed him. [...] Her name was Summer."
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The common perception of Res among Heroes as it isn't directly related to combat, although it is implied to be indirectly beneficial as the series progresses.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: This applies to all Classes to some degree, as people who take on specific roles or methods will gain skills designed to better aide them and will eventually be locked into those roles should they progress far enough. Thus, unless one deliberately focuses on versatility from the beginning, they'll eventually only be able to use specific methods for the rest of their lives.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Given to Jaune by both Ruby and Blake whenever he becomes self-depreciating about his lower Level (and false Class, though he's yet to reveal this particular fact), and ability to lead their guild.
    • Cinder of all people gives this to Jaune after he is outed as a Blacksmith and is ostracized by the rest of the guild after an emotionally trying battle against Watts and Willow, Weiss' mother. While she does believe that what he did was ultimately foolhardy and will likely cause him great trouble in the future, she is able to understand the reasons why he did it in the first place, comparing it to how her own Prestige Class affects her own life, and thus she does respect that he was able to fight against his fate, even if only for a while. Sadly, as she sees it, You Can't Fight Fate, and while she does offer him a chance to at least live as a Hero in private by having him join her entourage due to her future position as Queen of Mistral, she can't change the system itself and ultimately he would only be able to live as a slightly more important NPC.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • The basis of the Caste System. Some classes will always be stronger or more specialized than others. A specialist class like Pyromancers or Surgeons will always be better in their particular niche than more generalized classes such as Mages or Doctors. Meanwhile, Prestige Classes are just plain overpowered compared to other individuals of the same level. Jaune, as a Blacksmith, will always have poor Dexterity and Agility, and will never gain any truly combat-related Skills.
    • Revealed as Salem's whole justification for giving Jaune his amulet. She gives him a theoretical chance to achieve his dream, fully expecting him to eventually fail himself, his new friends, and likely several innocents in the process. The previous holders of the amulet all felt such anguish when they eventually failed due to their innate limitations, that Salem sees no reason to warp the wish's intent. It produces more negative emotions to give him a chance.
    • Revealed to be Cinder's perspective on the world. That being said, she does respect Jaune for at least trying (and temporarily succeeding) in defying fate. See You Are Better Than You Think You Are.
  • You Have Failed Me: Inverted. When Mistral's King returned home after he not only broke the Grand Treaty, but failed to defeat his enemies to boot, he was subsequently killed by his family and underlings for his incompetence.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: One of the problems Jaune faces early on is the cultural differences between Labourers and Heroes, in particular how level and stats are treated.
    • For Labour Caste, someone's level is important to know as it is a general indicator of the quality of the goods or services they can provide, while stats are just another personal, but non-intrusive, detail like someone's height.
    • For Hero Caste, knowing another Hero's level tells them how difficult or easy they would be to kill, and thus is only told to people they trust absolutely. Likewise, the exact nature of someone's stats is incredibly personal, with revealing them being akin to being naked and exposed to the world, and asking someone their stats is the rough equivalent of asking someone to drop their pants.

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback