Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

A template series uses some repeated Genre-Fantasy situation or Plot Device as a reliable generator of Story in new settings and contexts. Much of Michael Moorcock's Elric sequence revolves template-fashion around the doomed prince's dependence on the Sword Stormbringer which makes him a psychic Vampire; he is separated from it, seeks herbal substitutes for its dangerous strength, encounters similar swords, regrets its recurring habit of killing his friends, etc. Some templates – like the problems of virtuous vampires, or streetwise/punk/rock'n'roll vampires and Elves in US Cities – have been exploited by multiple authors and have thus grown into subgenres. [DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.