The urban fantasy market seems awfully stagnant - Page 3
Page 3 of 11 FirstFirst 1234567891011 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 102
  1. #21
    Member
    Titan (Lvl 27)

    Dannyalcatraz's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Planet Alcatraz & D/FW
    Posts
    39,403
    World of Darkness has a stranglehold on the market. The creativity of other potential settings has no room to shine. Without competition, the genre stagnates.
    While WoD is definitely the big dog in this subsection of the hobby, it doesn’t really have enough power to truly stifle creative competition. To the contrary, I’d assert that it’s enormous popularity has generated a significant amount of “Not-WoD” yearning for other designers to tap into.

    The only thing is, “Not-WoDism” is not unified in its desires, so it will be very difficult for something different to grow beyond niche status. Hell, there are people playing urban fantasy/horror in the various iterations of CoC, itself a venerable and popular system.

    As I write this, I am reminded of how impressed I was playing Monster of the Week. It was only a brief intro style adventure run over a couple of sessions, but I remember it being fun. And my character was a diminutive but sassy young first responder- she had no special powers but for her extensive understanding of what was in her ambulance.

    (Used the paddles to give a hungry critter a NASTY shock when it got too close.)

    My (limited) understanding of that game leads me to believe it could handle a pretty broad swath of urban fantasy/horror. We were slated to run a different campaign with different PCs, but it fizzled for a variety of real-world reasons. I was to be playing a fallen angel living as a human...

  2. #22
    Member
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)



    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Utah, USA
    Posts
    1,139
    The biggest problem with the popularity of urban fantasy is that vampires aren't cool anymore. There's a dearth of original media material.

    Twilight, the execrable films moreso than the books, destroyed "urban fantasy." In terms of books, there's very little original material being produced, because it's passe. Stuff written by once-popular urban fantasy writers like Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, etc., are 15+ years old now. None of the Underworld films after the second one were any good.

    As a cultural "zeitgeist," urban fantasy just isn't nearly as much of a thing anymore.

    And the OP already touched on the other problem, which is that the most well-known urban fantasy RPG universe has fallen on hard times.

  3. #23
    Member
    Titan (Lvl 27)

    Dannyalcatraz's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Planet Alcatraz & D/FW
    Posts
    39,403
    Quote Originally Posted by innerdude View Post
    The biggest problem with the popularity of urban fantasy is that vampires aren't cool anymore. There's a dearth of original media material.
    Whaaaaaaaaaat?

  4. #24
    When a fiction genre is too popular then it become "old fashioned", for example the far west movies with indians and cowboys. And people would rather fiction set in "exotic" places. For example a teenage who lives in a little town like sci-fi set in megacities with high skyscrapers but a geek living in a great city would rather fantasy set in country and wild zones. An European feel curiosity about manga set in feudal Japan, but a Japanese boy would rather fantasy in a civilization like European.

    When Twilight and the rest of supernatural romance works were too popular, they become old fashioned, like the monsters of the hammer films, or the psycho-killers from 70-80's horror movies. Today to feel true fear they would rather some survival horror videogames like "Dead by daylight".

    And there is other reason. Blockbuster superheroes movies, and zombie-apocalypse works, killed the urban fantasy. Now the readers and TV watchers don't want stories about the heroes killing the monster of the week.

  5. #25
    Member
    Titan (Lvl 27)

    Dannyalcatraz's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Planet Alcatraz & D/FW
    Posts
    39,403
    Now the readers and TV watchers don't want stories about the heroes killing the monster of the week.
    Depends on how you define “monster”. Criminal Minds will be airing it’s 15th season this fall. Sure, it’s not supernatural urban fantasy/horror, but MotW is the formula for it and other successful action shows.

    I’d argue that Kolchack: the Night Stalker (ABC) and Constantine (NBC) were well received, but their Nielsen numbers were low. But those gross numbers are calculated across demographics, not within a genre’s fan base. They weren’t killed due to unpopularity within the genre, but rather, their lack of appeal to America in general. Both probably would have done better on smaller cable channels like SyFy. Hell, Constantine’s been reprised in the Arrowverse- the character is a regular on Legends of Tomorrow.

  6. #26
    Game Masticator
    Magsman (Lvl 14)

    DMMike's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    2,309
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz View Post
    Whaaaaaaaaaat?
    That was my sentiment.

    I don't think that vampire-unpopularity is a problem though, because Hollywood can pretty easily pop something out and turn that around.

    I'd pay to see Gary Oldman in Dracula 2. Just sayin'.
    Modular, open source, free role-playing rules: Modos RPG
    modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com
    Tweets: @MichaelTwtr

  7. #27
    Member
    Magsman (Lvl 14)



    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Northern BC, Canada
    Posts
    659
    What sort of rule system do you like? You are going to probably have to go with a toolbox, or a game that has its own world/ lore that can be easily tweaked. Do you like Fate? GURPS? Savage Worlds? Hero? Gumshoe? Are you willing to scrounge around for out of print games? Angel, (sister rpg to Buffy) is really easy to mold into something totally divorced from the tv show.

    It's hard to give advice when we don't really know what kind of system appeals to you.

  8. #28
    Member
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)



    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    3,684
    Does Blades in the Dark not qualify as Urban Fantasy?

    Grimdark, cutthroat urban setting (Duskvol) - check

    Paranormal (overruneth and all kinds) - check

    Magic - check

    Factions/tribes embroiled in endless war to ascend hierarchy - check
    XP pemerton gave XP for this post

  9. #29
    Member
    Hydra (Lvl 25)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Posts
    6,327
    Quote Originally Posted by BoxCrayonTales View Post

    But I digress. You’re right about me arbitrarily discounting a setting. I failed to articulate myself and for that I apologize. I don’t like Mage because I only have a choice between “consensus reality” and “supernal realms.” If the M20 book was anything to go by, the “traditions” are lunatic radicals that hate modern civilization and the “technocracy” are lunatics that want to literally destroy the human spirit like a Saturday morning cartoon villain. The Awakening has a more obvious “not so different” theme for its heroes/villains, but is essentially the same conflict with different window dressing. It’s not as flexible as it claims to be. There is so much baggage in terms of setting and authorial intent. A toolkit it is not.
    Have you looked at all at Mage for Chronicles of Darkness 2nd edition? Beyond sharing the name and the broad contours of the magic system, they're extremely different games. No consensual reality, and definitely no bases on Saturn.

  10. #30
    Member
    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    446
    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    Does Blades in the Dark not qualify as Urban Fantasy?

    Grimdark, cutthroat urban setting (Duskvol) - check

    Paranormal (overruneth and all kinds) - check

    Magic - check

    Factions/tribes embroiled in endless war to ascend hierarchy - check
    QFT - great system.

    There are still recent exemplars of urban fantasy that have been excellent. The show based on Lev Grossman's Magicians was good, Supernatural is going into it's 14th season and has been hugely popular, The Strain was good. Heck, even Riverdale is essentially urban fantasy. Ghosts, spooks, magic and the rest in a modern setting are still very popular and still seem to be everywhere - you just need to avoid that particular "sexy vampires in black leather" WoD bit and most people are still very much on board. Even that can be done well - the Dresden Files has some very WoD bits around the edges and is still wildly popular.

Similar Threads

  1. D&D Urban Fantasy Urban Legends
    By Ash Mantle in forum *Dungeons & Dragons
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Saturday, 9th February, 2019, 02:45 AM
  2. [Raging Swan Press] Urban Dressing: Market Stalls
    By Creighton in forum *Pathfinder & Starfinder
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Wednesday, 9th January, 2013, 02:05 PM
  3. Stagnant PCs and what to do.
    By STARP_President in forum *General Roleplaying Games Discussion
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: Friday, 8th April, 2005, 06:56 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •