RPG’s (especially those with the J- prefix) have gotten a lot of flak for being stagnant and outdated, or too conservatively tied to form. While this is up for debate, I’m not going to sit here and delineate the underlying problems of the genre. No, I’m being far more petty and going after all those fictional folks in the games who piss me right the hell off.
1. Dealing With Great Evils the First Time – This is the big one. Ancient races in RPGs don’t ever seem to solve their own damned problems, instead sealing their terrible villains away and never speaking of them again. It’s like when your mom told you to clean your room as a kid and you just pushed everything into the closet, only to open the door weeks later and get buried in an avalanche of your own filth and laziness. I can understand if you just can’t kill the guy, but if you’re going to seal him away somehow, at least make it clear to future generations exactly what you did. None of this apocryphal shit like “Do not allow the four fires to fade lest the black sun rise once more.” You aren’t writing bad poetry here, you’re trying to give a clear warning to prevent the apocalypse. You’d really think that would be something you’d put a little effort into.
2. Barring Doors – RPG villains (and lesser monsters, for that matter) must be really paranoid about locking themselves out of their own towers of despair, because they put hide-a-keys everywhere. Chests, pots, their guard staff’s food – you name it. The one thing they seem incapable of doing is creating an impregnable fortress – heroes don’t even have to break and enter these places when checking under the welcome mat suffices. If you’re a monster guarding a precious artifact you don’t want the hero getting his clammy virtuous hands on, where the hell do you have to be anyway? Why even have doors in the first place, much less locks on them? Protip: Cave in the entrance and find a hobby. I hear models are time-consuming.
3. Speaking Up – Alright, guys, ready for our adventure! Should we head to the kingdom in the East or the woods to the South? What’s that? Well, I guess you want to go to the South because you’re walking in that direction, but…okay, and I guess that villager ascertained what you wanted to buy from, what, your winning smile? Are you a mute psychic or a Silent Bob wannabe? Is it so much to ask for a protagonist with slightly more personality than a lemon?
4. Helping Heroes Out – So you own an enchanted weapons shop, and you’ve gotta make a living. I get that. And why should you give a free pass to every ragtag group of adventurers that passes by? You’d go broke! But when it’s two minutes to midnight, shit is perilously close to the fan, and said band of intrepid heroes is the only thing that could possibly save you and the rest of the world from an unspeakable death, maybe you could throw them a freebie or two. And maybe you shouldn’t make them race giant birds or find obscure items to trade with you before you hand the goods over. Time is sort of a factor. You vendors are borderline psychotic and it scares me.
5. Finding Entertainment – The typical RPG town has an inn, a weapons and/or magic shop, and a few houses. If your really lucky, you’ll also have a bar. What kind of awful monotonous existence do these people lead? Their only entertainment seems to be beating monsters to death and drinking themselves to a deep, dark place. Oh, and praying that some other villager doesn’t get so fed up with it all that he buys out the magic store’s stock and tries to blow up the world.