Friday, May 7, 2010

Thoughts on RPG Genres

James at Grognardia has a post on what genres/subjects that the OSR should focus on as well. I played GURPS and Hero System for a number of years. Those RPGs are universal system with a number of genre books implementing the core system for a specific genre or setting. Based on my experience here is a rough list that should help the discussion along.

Fantasy
SciFi
Horror
Superheroes
Historical
Humor
Adaptions i.e. licensed setting

The last two, Humor and Adaptions, are often mixed in with the others. For that matter many RPGs are a mix of two or more genres. For example ShadowRun.

Hopefully this list will help people think about what other areas that old school games can cover.

5 comments:

Siskoid said...

What you say about Humor is also true of Horror (which is essentially Fantasy or, in the case of Lovecraftian horror, SF). These are tones, whereas Fantasy and SF are classifications of setting. Supers might as well be SF too, except they can also have fantasy. SF, in fact, covers multiple subgenres like Mecha, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Time Travel... It's not just Space Opera. And if Westerns are Historical, where do we put modern military or espionage games?

Just thinking out loud.

DeForest said...

I would add espionage to the genre list (Top Secret and 007 both being very Old School in my mind).

It might be reasonable to consider post-apocalypse to be a separate genre removed from SciFi. Probably just a matter of taste on that.

Rob Conley said...

@Siskold, I guess call modern era genres contemporary but since you write the same as historical genres they can also be lumped in with that category.

1d30 said...

Would a primarily "social" game be a different genre? Or would you consider that a separate axis?

For example, My Life With Master, from what I've heard of it. Or a Dating Sim, from videogame land.

If you use Fantasy to cover those, then Fantasy could cover everything except historical recreation.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

i'm less interested in genre than I am of setting.