This is not supposed to be a specific discussion of my my magic system if someone thought that way reading the title.
After seeing all those threads and questions about specific fantasy races, subjects and "cliches" I'm curious about your feelings about various typical fantasy elements.
I'm going to start with mine of course.
For some reason that probably isn't really rational my opinions on various typical fantasy creatures vary greatly. Dragons, unicorns and shapeshifters of any kind don't bother me at all, elves are a "depends" while I tend to avoid anything with dwarves or especially orcs in it. This might be, because the beings from the first group where part of many stories and fairytales I've grown up with while I only got introduced to the latter later in life. Dwarves are a bit of an exception but outside of modern English-language fantasy I've mainly come across single dwarves guarding treausures and the like, not dwarf-cultures.
I'm actually very fond of the idea of mystical, magical beings dwelling in forests and other natural areas but for some reason, my idea of those is different from typical fantasy elves. Even Tolkien's elves actually have been too human for my taste. I especially don't imagine such being living in societies completely like human ones with royals, nobility, courts and the like. This lead me to the problem that I'm not sure if the being I have in mind myself are supposed to be referred to as elves or not. At the moment, I've decided to leave them out and only put magical beings into this role that resemble Greek or Roman deities more than elves but aren't seen as divine beings in my world.
As far as magic is concered, I actually like almost anything if it's done well. There are many different concepts and so far I've rarely come across a book which suffered from its magic system. Generally, I like to see some form of magic or supernatural abilities in fantasy, it's one of the things I like about it.
I'm quite fond of "high-magic" societies such as the magical community in Harry Potter as well and I'd be curious to see something like this in an inventend world. My own attempts to do this weren't really succesful however.
As far as Dark Lords are concerned, I don't think they're needed but I don't generally dislike every story that has them. Sometimes they can be really helpful in raising the stakes, forcing the "good" groups to form unusual alliances and the like. Therefore Dark Lords can be a helpful tool, depending on the story in question.
The same goes for important prophecies so I generally tend to dislike those because they give away too much and force the "chosen one" into a position he doesn't want to be in. I really prefer heroes who fight because they choose to do so.
So, that's me. What do you think?