You know: the milieu in which most every RPG is set. That make-believe, quasi-feudal environment with all the usual trappings. Elves. Dwarves. Orcs. Goblins. Assorted other creatures we’ve seen too many times before.

Everything is so familiar, it’s become dull. Boring. The scenery may change a little, but we’ve done it all so often, we could almost play any game with our eyes closed.

What I feel is missing most is a sense of wonder. This is supposed to be fantasy, after all. When was the last time you felt you were in a fantastic world of marvelous happenings?

Maybe there’s an incident in some game that has stayed in your memory. But one or two out of a whole game isn’t much. What ought to be an enticing experience has devolved into a monotonous routine.

Find the NPCs with silly jobs to do. Complete the tasks, get a reward. Kill lots of enemies, find “good stuff”, level up. Repeat ad infinitum, or at least until the “Foozle fight” at the end.

The world itself is hardly noticed. You may find books with “history of the world” or “lore and legends of the land”, but so what? Background doesn’t matter when it stays in the background.

I know: we’ve talked before, more than once, how RPGs are in a rut. I think the biggest rut is that these worlds are practically interchangeable. They’ve become mundane, for all the magic and monsters.

Is it even possible to design/create a world that evokes a sense of wonder? For the first-time gamer, maybe any RPG will bring on that feeling. But for those of us who have been at it awhile (or a long time), have we seen it all, done it all, and nothing much is left except the “same-old, same-old” we know all too well?