Define some genres




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  1. #1
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    Define some genres

    Edit: I love this old thread, and I can't help but revive it every couple of years . . .

    I've always been fascinated by the concept of "genre" in music and fiction, and a lot of my weirder RPG ideas start with genre --- either by wanting to emulate a specific genre [say, Bondian '60s espionage], or by wanting to define a genre that is maybe not widely recognized as such [like "Hijinx" --- the game of Rock & Roll Mystery-Solving Cartoons], or by cobbling together a genre of my own out of various bits and pieces.

    So I want some ideas about the last two --- define a genre [or maybe "quirky subgenre" would be a more accurate term] suitible for gaming, citing examples of your inspiration/source material and otherwise explaining its characteristics.

    It can be a twist on a recognized genre, or a set of common elements running through various films/shows/books, or something that you more or less made up.

    [And give it a catchy name and write it in caps, so it can become the next big thing. If you're stuck for a name, I heartily approve of the inappropriate use of the suffix "-punk."]

    To name one --- TWEENSPY. Been seeing a lot of this lately. Agent Cody Banks, Catch That Kid, Spy Kids. Adolescents get caught up in PG-rated James Bond adventures, oftentimes getting to rescue Mom and Dad, and always outsmarting the grownups. No real violence, but plenty of thrills, and a big scoop of suspension of disbelief.

    [You could argue that Jonny Quest was the founding father of tweenspy...I'd almost rather save him for TWEENPULP, along with the Goonies.]

    MEXIPUNK. "Desperado" meets "From Dusk Til Dawn" meets Santo. High-octane action, south of the border. Luchadores are the martial artists of the setting, every guitar player might also be a gunslinger, and horrors from before Cortez still stalk the night.

    EIGHTIES NEOPULP. Buckaroo Banzai, Big Trouble in Little China...and you can stretch a little to include Predator, Rambo, and the A-Team. In the Big Eighties, Big Heroes have Big Adventures. New Wave action heroes confront everything from those damn Russians to alien invasions.

    Any takers?
    Last edited by JPL; Wednesday, 14th January, 2009 at 02:03 PM.
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  • #2
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    Oh, I got another one...a year or two back, I wanted to run STEAMPUNCH, a Victorian Era martial arts tournament game. For inspiration, Van Damme's "The Quest" [actually set in the 1920s, but it had that feeling that a trip to the Orient was truly an adventure into exotic lands], Jackie Chan's "Shanghai Noon" and "Shanghai Knights" [although I'd want a tad more historical accuracy], any number of martial arts films set around the Boxer Rebellion and dealing with the tension between East and West...and strangely enough, "Far and Away" and "Gangs of New York", for the 19th century boxing.
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    CASTLE-FU: The Brotherhood of the Wolf, The Musketeer. Kickass action featuring people in medieval times.

    Medieval Supers: the 1602 comic series. Kickass action featuring superheroes in medieval times.

    Detect a common thread? I want some kickass action. Our 2nd level D&D game is making me sad. The ogre hits you. You are unconscious again. Hope the cleric can stabilize you before you have to roll up another lame low-level hero. Bleh.

  • #4
    1948

    A brief blurb from the upcomming press release:
    1948 is Lovecraftian horror + modern conspiracy theory + pulp sci-fi from the 40s and 50s + WWII history + metaphysics + ancient legends + a certain popular 80s cartoon series about an elite paramilitary team that I cant mention by name. 1948 features witches, psychics, ninjas, commandos, demons, aliens, snipers, mad scientists, mutants, Japanese mega-monsters, secret societies, and much, much more. Ray guns, jet packs, lost cities, eastern mysticism, impossible science, and alien horrors are the stock elements of this setting. Although it is modern, it also features organizations of knights (Templars, Teutonic Knights, and others), wizards (occultists, mystics, and others) and priests (voodoo shaman, Catholic bishops, and others). There are also plenty of roguish associations available in the setting including Muslim assassins and spies from every nation.

    You'll be hearing a lot more about it in the future, so I'll stop for now.

  • #5
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    Well, technically, the examples you cite are later than medieval...mostly Renaissance, with BotW being Enlightenment, as I recall. And I'd call it "rapier-fu", just to get the time period nailed down. But good call...swashbuckling meets martial arts.

    The first several issues of Avengers Volume 3 had a great medieval superhero setting, drawn brilliantly by George Perez.

    I got another one...

    TEAMPUNK...action hero adventures starring professional athletes. References: The Harlem Globetrotter episodes of "Scooby-Doo"; the 1991 cartoon "Pro Stars" starring Jordan, Gretzky, and Bo Jackson; old-school Marvel Comic "Kickers, Inc."; and motion picture masterpiece "Gymkata."

    A possible subgenre would be TEAMPUNK XTREME, drawing upon Vin Diesel's "XXX" and snowboarding favorite "Extreme Ops"...oh, and Action Man, and "Gleaming the Cube." And those guys from the Mountain Dew commercials...y'know, if they fought crime.
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  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodstone Press
    1948

    A brief blurb from the upcomming press release:
    1948 is Lovecraftian horror + modern conspiracy theory + pulp sci-fi from the 40s and 50s + WWII history + metaphysics + ancient legends + a certain popular 80s cartoon series about an elite paramilitary team that I cant mention by name. 1948 features witches, psychics, ninjas, commandos, demons, aliens, snipers, mad scientists, mutants, Japanese mega-monsters, secret societies, and much, much more. Ray guns, jet packs, lost cities, eastern mysticism, impossible science, and alien horrors are the stock elements of this setting. Although it is modern, it also features organizations of knights (Templars, Teutonic Knights, and others), wizards (occultists, mystics, and others) and priests (voodoo shaman, Catholic bishops, and others). There are also plenty of roguish associations available in the setting including Muslim assassins and spies from every nation.

    You'll be hearing a lot more about it in the future, so I'll stop for now.
    Sounds a little Hellboyish to me, which is a good thing.
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  • #7
    TURBANPUNK?

    SCIMITAR-FU?

    my one great dream for many years has been to run a campaign based on the 1001 Arabian Nights and the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad movies -- remade today as high-octane wire-fu computer graphics FX-laden action movies.

    flying carpets, mad genies, creepy Assassins, power-mad eunuch warlocks, whirling dervishes, alluring harem girls, and lots of flashing scimitar action.
    Last edited by d4; Tuesday, 8th June, 2004 at 06:42 PM.

  • #8
    Would TEAMPUNK include the old WWF saturday morning cartoon series?

    Also, EIGHTIES NEOPULP should include the Indiana Jones movies.

    1948 falls into what I like to call HIGH WEIRDNESS. Forteana, UFOlogy, cryptozoology, the Principia Discordia, the Illuminatus! Trilogy, Nikola Tesla, Warehouse 23, and Space Nazis from inside the Hollow Earth! Oh, and of course, the Weekly World News.

  • #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by d4
    TURBANPUNK?

    SCIMITAR-FU?

    my one great dream for many years has been to run a campaign based on the 1001 Arabian Nights and the Ray Harryhausen Sinbad movies -- remade today as high-octane wire-fu computer graphics FX-laden action movies.

    flying carpets, mad genies, creepy Assassins, power-mad eunuch warlocks, whirling dervishes, alluring harem girls, and lots of flashing scimitar action.
    See, that would be good stuff.
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  • #10
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    I'm arbitrarily limiting eighties neopulp to stuff that actually takes place in the eighties.

    Rock n' Wrestling is certainly a fine example of teampunk, and demonstrates the trickiest part of a teampunk plot:

    A. Hulk Hogan and friends are wrestlers, and they don't like the evil wrestlers. And the space station is in danger.
    B. ?
    C. Hulk Hogan and friends save the space station, despite the bumbling/scheming of the evil wrestlers.

    You just gotta get past B, man. That's the tough part.
    Last edited by JPL; Tuesday, 8th June, 2004 at 07:12 PM.
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