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"But, my love...what we wish to be IS who we are."[1]

Tropes are descriptive phrases that give you bonus abilities based on movie physics or narrative requirements that you can exploit in The Realm. Tropes are discovered (i.e. created) during gameplay by players and approved by the Director. They then behave like facets. They can be progressed up to circuit-3, and added to any event where a player decides they are relevant and will help them. The Director has final ruling on if a trope is applicable. The Director may also reference a trope during any action a character attempts, whether it is an advantage or a downside in that scenario. If it is a downside, the Director adds the Plot Die to the Threshold Pool. The Director decides, based on their story and group preference, how many tropes any one character may have. We suggest between 1 and 4.

Tropes automate specific actions in specific contexts, but can also complicate other actions that should be simple. All tropes have downsides. If a Director agrees to a trope, a downside needs to be agreed upon as well. Environments and items connected to the primary film story also have tropes of their own--most are downsides to the player and add the Plot Die to the Threshold.

Discovering a trope

During gameplay, at any moment, even during an action, you can invent one of your allotted tropes and utilize it immediately. You are only limited by the total amount of tropes you are allowed and by the relevance to the character, which is a Director judgment call. If you invent a trope called "Town Drunken Master," meaning you are better at fighting when you're inebriated, and the Director approves it, you can put it into action mid-fight--provided you've been drinking. A somewhat obvious unwritten limitation is that most Directors will not be likely to approve the same trope on more than one character.

Using a trope

Whenever a threshold is challenging you, you may tap a Lucidity circuit to alter the result. You may then re-roll one facet or add its circuit to your effort sum, whichever is most helpful.

Types of Trope

Genre tropes

A genre trope is an exploitable attribute only possible due to the genre of the story in which the Players find themselves. In the case of The Realm, these are High Fantasy tropes, but also Dystopian tropes usually only found in the Cyberpunk genre, Strange Fiction/Horror tropes, and Noir tropes. Anyone can exploit a genre trope at any time. They are permanent fixtures of a game, but the style of the story being told by your specific group may reduce or add from among these genres.

Setting tropes

Setting tropes are location-dependent attributes of a particular empire, kingdom, city, geographical location, or establishment that is the general character of the place. A Den of Iniquity, for instance, will be a great place to hire a Pirate with a Heart of Gold, but a dangerous place to physically bump into anyone or ask for milk. Setting tropes are typically decided or declared by the Director, but any player can declare one with the approval of the Director.

Phantasm tropes

Phantasm tropes are the movie or genre attributes of the Character Body players awaken within, attributable to their roles in The Realm prior to your arrival. These are tropes you carry with you throughout the game and are more often declared by the Director. After bumping into a Hardened Criminal in the Den of Iniquity, a fight almost ensues, until you realize that you have the Cole Eyes of a Killer. One look into them, and the Hardened Criminal backs down, he doesn't want no trouble.

Situational tropes

Situational tropes are attributes of specific scenes or situations in the genre or medium of film that players can exploit or that can hinder player actions. In the Den, no one notices if someone gets shot, but if you throw a punch, the entire place erupts in one massive brawl.

Personality tropes

Personality tropes are exploitable social abilities that come from being a specific type of person. These are similar to phantasm tropes, except they emerge from the way a player behaves in The Realm, and are equal parts declared by the players or the Director. Your personality tropes can even be announced by another player, and if accepted by the Director, will stick. Sometimes you don't know you're the Loveable Rogue of the party until someone else points it out.


Plot armor