- Monopoly was based on a game called "The Landlord's Game", which was meant to demonstrate the evils of capitalism.
- The Old World of Darkness supplement The Book of Nod was originally a source of stories and a prop for the setting. Imagine the author's surprise when Noddism became a cult.
- Ditto that for the Sabbat faction in Vampire: The Masquerade. Originally little more than vampiric orcs, the Sabbat became the setting's most popular faction among players, despite (or perhaps because of) the gory and sadistic supplements that described their behavior. Some of the additional depth (and sympathetic elements) the Sabbat later received may have been an attempt to move the target a little closer to where fandom was aiming. They're still liberatingly horrible by and large, but with a few legitimate points to stand for.
- Given the sheer number of "This is a GAME. You are NOT a vampire/werewolf/demon/mage and the Devil is NOT your unholy master. If you actually believe any of this stuff, get some help" warnings in some of the later supplements, it's fair to say that the old World of Darkness had a definite problem with misaimed fandom and/or Moral Guardians.
- In Mage: The Ascension, The Technocracy was originally conceived as a belligerent faction who was trying to murder creativity and wonder by deluding the masses into believing such things don't exist, which, in a universe that operates on Clap Your Hands If You Believe, would remove their ability to do so in the real world. The problem was that their use of science to do so undermined this idea, since science and technology were profoundly liberating for the average person. Rather than clamp down on this, the writers embraced this, depicting the Technocracy as a Well-Intentioned Extremist faction who wants to protect and empower the common man via science and technology (admittedly, under their terms), but have accumulated many, many skeletons in their closet to do so.
- Changeling: The Dreaming is about fairies reborn as humans. While the line was considered "interesting, but flawed" by many, a group of people known as Otherkin adored the game, mainly because they believe they are fairies reborn as humans. Their attachment to the game got so out of hand that the authors had to officially announce that they weren't Otherkin themselves.
- A good portion of the Rifts fandom sympathize with the Coalition States. The CS is a totalitarian, Orwellian, fascist police state which is a stabilizing force for North America. It feeds many beyond its borders and is the only reliable basis of credit currency. It heavily restricts media, education, and free speech, which protects people from accidentally reading magical scrolls that summon demons. It seeks to free the entire Earth for humanity: not only themselves but also their NGR allied in Europe and Free Quebec allies up north. It is violently racist against alien invaders and humans who summon them - those who refuse to leave human territory may be imprisoned or shot. The CS make their lands so safe that many aliens choose to live in underprivileged ghettos until the day they die, rather than brave the untamed wilderness. Nazi Germany was probably one contributing inspiration for the CS, as Hitler was mentioned as one of Karl Prosek's inspirations. Godwin's Law leads to critics only focusing on this, completely ignoring Karl's negative opinions about Hitler and the other leaders who inspired him: Caesar, Khan and Napoleon. They also act as if Nazis invented the Deaths Head and ignore its recurrent use in the American military or use by classic heroes like Ivanhoe . Problem is, not only are they badass, but a lot of nonhumans in the setting do pose an imminent danger to human civilisation, leading to many people tolerating, some ignoring, and a few even glorifying - the Coalition's atrocities.
- Anytime anyone at all thinks that one of the factions in Warhammer 40,000 is "the good guys" (hint: Evil vs. Evil is one of the foundations of the setting). This is almost always directed at the Tau, the Imperium of Man (mostly via the Imperial Guard) and/or the Eldar (and occasionally Da Orks), probably because their most common enemies routinely perform actions several orders of magnitude worse than anything the previous factions could possibly achieve.
- Some neo-Nazis think that the Imperium is some kind of post-neo-fascist paradise.
- The Ultramarines tends to have a very large following in Neo-Nazi-circles with that perfection-angle and being ubermench and such.
- This post from a reactionary traditionalist site cites the Imperium Of Man as a desirable guide for society, completely missing the point that the Imperium is a dying Crapsack World where rampant traditionalism has made life horrible for humanity, even if it's keeping it alive. The highly fantastical nature of the setting where only there such dogmatic policies can be tolerated is also ignored by the author. Interestingly, the author's logo is similar to Warhammer's symbol of Chaos, the Imperium's principal archenemy.
- It was a bit more justified originally with the Tau, since the original material on them kind of glossed over any of their negative aspects. Character Development fixed that, though they still offer conversion as an alternative to extermination, which none of the other factions really do.
- Except Chaos... sometimes.
- Take note that said Character Development only appeared after fans complained that they weren't grimdark enough, and most of their negative aspects are described in quotes by Imperial characters. The Tau are either the best/least-worst dudes in the universe if Imperial propaganda isn't true, or merely as grey as the Imperium if it is.
- The Harlequin as portrayed are probably the closest thing to "the good guys" in the setting. They also are severely underdeveloped.
- They are implied to be trying to reunite the Eldar race but don't really care about changing the ideologies of their allies.
- Some of the authors (especially Josh Reynolds) portray them as having Blue-and-Orange Morality and existing only to make sure events play out like whatever story they're doing at the time (and the metaplot) says they should. If that means steering a Chaos army into an unprepared Eldar Craftworld, so be it.
- The whole thing isn't helped by Black Library writers trying to give the Imperium a human face in order to make political officers sympathetic.
- Some claim that the whole setting was never meant to be taken as seriously as many fans do. In a fine example of this trope and/or Poe's Law, things intended as parody and Black Comedy were embraced unironically.
- This has been gone back and forth with each edition. The first edition was pure parody, the second took the story seriously, the third took itself so seriously and was so dark and miserable that it became a joke (creating the meme "grimdark" ), the fourth and fifth are Lighter and Softer with real heroes and villains, though still substantially darker than your average setting. The sixth edition went both ways with it, making the battles themselves and the people in them that much more glorious, with a heaping helping of lore that indicates that every civilization in the galaxy, and maybe the galaxy itself, is literally on the verge of one great, big, all-consuming orgy of madness and carnage, leaving nothing left. 7th edition continues with the direction 6th was going: the galaxy is being ripped apart by Chaos and the Imperium is closer to total collapse than it ever has been, but Roboute Guilliman is back and working to make the place less of a hellhole. At this point Games Workshop authors have clearly found a balance point of playing the absurd, glorious bleakness of the setting completely straight while winking at its readers.
- This also makes the franchise a major Indecisive Parody. For a perfect example, the Commissars were originally created as what was basically a joke; a statement that the Imperial Guard was such an ill-run shambles that they had to insert political officers whose primary duty is to shoot anyone who looks like they're about to run away, a perfect symbol of the callousness of the military state that glorifies troopers even as it tosses them into the grinder. But many writers fell in love with their cool looks and outside-the-system role and featured Commissar protagonists meant to be exceptional sorts who almost never shoot any of their Badass Crew. Nowadays you have people who will insist that most Commissars don't shoot their troops willy-nilly except as a last resort... ignoring that this is literally their signature ability and the entire reason they were added to the setting to begin with.
- There are quite a few diehard fans who embrace the paranoia, intolerance, fanaticism, and Fantastic Racism of the setting, and project it into other games, media and real life. The less said about that, the better.
Misaimed Fandom / Tabletop Games