Friday, 14 January 2011

The Gamers’ Guide to Tabletop Role-playing Genres - RC

The Gamers’ Guide to Tabletop Role-playing Genres

I'm a bit of a fan of the Roleplayers Chronicle website because it's manager and the author of this publication has clearly been immersed in a pile of RPG products for some time, or at least knows what's what or when it's happening.

For some older role-players, like myself, the modern gaming world is a baffling place - much like walking into a music shop after a decade away, you just have no idea whenever you'd like something or not, or even what the new categories mean.

With RPGs many discussions on the web are focussed primarily on game mechanics, but often, not far away, are discussions regarding setting and "genre". This publication deals with the latter in detail and yet is a perfect skim-read introduction for the busy DM. It's a good read because not only does Mr Huss outline the core categories of gaming genre (Fantasy, Sci-fi, Horror, for example) and identifies well used sub-catergoes (High-Fantasy, Cyberpunk etc.) but he digs further and separates games into more exacting sub-genres (meta-genres?) like "Dark Fantasy PostApocalyptic", "Modern Psychosis", "Zombie / Undead", "Heroic Pulp", "Clockwork", the list goes on.

With so many game publications, old and new, the author does not claim that his lists of example games are definitive (I found myself adding a few games but then realised that they had been long out of print). Many of the publishers of the games he does mention have their websites included in an appendix, which is very useful if you want to find out more about a range. For me hyperlinks in a document justify the use of PDF as a format, also the page layout is landscape, making better use of the computer monitor as a reading medium. That didn't stop me printing off a copy to read in bed, but I hear that's also what i-pads are for … ;)
The illustrations are nice too - reassuring bookmarks, if you get lost. :)

So if you unsure whether or not you or your player friends would like an Anime game, Storytelling, a Space Western or Gothic Horror this is certainly the document for you. It's also a great value read for collectors and the "just curious".

In summary: a well thought out document - positively educational!
*grin* I plan to show off with some of my new found knowledge.

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