The more things change the more they stay the same. When designing an adventure it’s difficult to avoid using established tropes—most stories can be distilled down into just a handful of plotlines. Some GM’s and players embrace common fantasy standards but for the GM that wants to create something a bit different what can you do? After 40 years of RPG history, thousands of modules and game ideas can you really come up with something unique?
Even Shadow World has been accused of being too “kitchen sink and it’s obvious that many of SW’s elements are fairly standard tropes are similar to our own world: