Friday, April 22, 2011
What is Vanilla Fantasy?
Aside from finding out that Orcs have no genitals, last session my player also had a very brief discussion on the definition of vanilla fantasy. One of them used it in a fairly derogatory fashion to describe a campaign setting that will not be named. One of my other players was quite confused by this as he had never heard the term.
Then I discovered something. Though I know what vanilla fantasy is it's rather like pornography: I know it when I see it. I was completely unable to give a definition for "vanilla fantasy." So I ask you, what makes something vanilla fantasy? Is it necessarily a bad thing? Does it need to be self serious? Can it have rayguns in it? Does Tolkien count?
When someone says vanilla fantasy to me, I immediately think of Might & Magic. Of course that's a rather screwed up view of vanilla fantasy, since M&M is secretly a sci fi setting, but it's what I think of none the less.