What are you favorite RPG genres?


For me it would be:

1. Weird history, I love history and like spicing it up with a twist. Zombies, cultists, weird monsters, ect. All with a backdrop of a significant moment in history.
2. Cyberpunk, including Shadowrun.
3. Mystery, you can add this to any other genre and make it better.
4. Horror, though I am not that good at getting the mood at the table, I still love it.
5. Sci-fi, lots of possibilities here. Tramp freighter, frontier, military, etc.

Not really a fan of power fantasy, it just bores me. I love the grittier fantasy, but most of the rest of the genre is overdone.


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A suffusion of yellow
Pulp Era
Weird History (especially Swashbuckling & Victoriana, Dieselpunk intrigues me but havent played much)
Sword & Lasers (Barsoom, Masters of the Universe)

Naturally this has varied a bit over time, but currently I'd go for these as top 5:
  • Low(ish) adventuring fantasy: people travelling a pseudo-medieval fantasy or renaissance world, exploring places fantastic and munde, fighting monsters and humans alike, solving riddles and taking quests; classic fantasy faces, classic monsters, magic is possible but either very dangerous or otherwise restricted - basically stuff like Forbidden Lands, low to mid-level play in older editions of D&D, a lot of OSR stuff or Warhammer Fantasy in the Old World.
  • Classic cyberpunk (with or without magic): low-life in a retro future where large corporations hold sway over the average people, and where people in the shadows carve out their niche, uncover conspiracies or deal with AIs reaching the point of sentience. Some face these challenges with cybernetic muscle and powered-up nerves, others by jacking into a data port or commanding drones. Magic and generally super-natural things exist, but they don't dominate everything. A large part of the protagonists' life is taking missions from shady fixers, but there's also a slice of life aspect where they interact with other people from their hood and try to build a bit of a non-criminal life. This would be stuff like Night City from Cyberpunk or Shadowrun in the 2050s.
  • Modern pulp adventures: people of the 20th century looking for historic artifacts and treasure alike, going to remote places, exploring old temples and tombs, (hopefully) evading traps and often dealing with dangerous competition for said artifacts - basically stuff like Indiana Jones, Uncharted or Tomb Raider (with preference given to the latter two).
  • Mythic/weird history (preferably late Middle Ages & Early Modern): historical settings, enriched with mythical elements, e.g. Crusades, but the opposition is in liege with demons and devils, or 30 years war, but there's also vampires and other monsters. Characters are equipped with swords or with muskets; supernatural elements exist, but if characters have access to magic, it's more akin to witchcraft or divine powers manifesting in the faithful rather than the classic spell list magic of fantasy games. To a certain extent this can be found in Ars Magica's Mythic Europe, or in the setting of Hexxen 1733.
  • Swashbuckling fantasy/pirates (optionally with weird elements): Sailing the high seas, plundering cargo vessels, fighting the navy, and, of course, looking for treasure. Characters will typically be good at heart, but still have questionable morals when it comes to other people's property. The setting may or may not contain supernatural elements, but if they exist they are probably something like curses, undead, or giant sea monsters that also appear in the respective stories or movies.
There's more stuff I like (in particular in the Sci-Fi area), but it didn't make the cut for the top 5.


  • Weird History/Modern Urban Fantasy - I've found this is a good way to get players interested because it's the modern world they live in but now with this new secret lore applied on top. I also don't need to build a whole world, just the new gameable bits. I'd include conspiracy stuff in this as well.
  • Sci-fi/sci-fantasy - This covers a lot of my favorite fiction so it's pretty easy to jump into the worlds. You also have plenty of opportunities to explore alien things but grounded in some sort of verisimilitude rather than just "it's magic".
I nominally like some horror games like Call of Cthulhu but I'm not great at running or playing them. I'm far more beer and pretzels than dramatic gamer theater. So it's harder for me to get in "horror mode" because I treat games so lightly. Because I want to play games I'm happy to play fantasy RPGs but they're far from my favorite. I got burned out on high fantasy decades ago.


Hard to make a list. My tastes changes constantly.

Though I seem to prefer a bit more toned down fantasy (magic should exists, but be special, not common things to buy everywhere like D&D & Pathfinder). I like Cyberpunk, Wuxia, Lovecraftian Horror, and pulpy action.

1. Fantasy with a focus on normal to mildly heroic. No more powerful than say 7-10th level D&D 3.5 characters with below average WBL.

2. Science Fantasy with a focus on weird. Love Thunddar and Numenera and pretty much anything in between.

3. Action/Pulp horror. Two-Fisted Masks of Nyarlathotep sounds about perfect.

4. Alternate History/Weird History. Just really coming into this genre and starting to explore it. I could see it moving up the list.

5. Toss up. Hard-ish sci fi. I’d run Coriolis for instance but not Traveller. I have a hard time wrapping my head around what a good ship based sci-fi game looks like.


I might define genres more broadly than some of you.

  1. Fantasy - This includes everything from D&D to Conan, Legend of the Five Rings, and Earthdawn.
  2. Science Fiction - This would include Blue Planet, Traveller, Star Trek, Star Wars, Cyerpunk, Blade Runner, etc., etc.
  3. Horror - Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green, KULT, Vampire, and Deadlands.
  4. Post Apocalyptic - Deadlands: Hell on Earth, Fallout, Gamma World, and Mutant Chronicles.
Some games might be more difficult to classify. Is Alien a science fiction or horror game? Yes. Is The Walking Dead a horror or post apocalyptic game? Yes. Genre seems most useful for marketers to sell product. It's why Stephen King/Richard Bachman's The Running Man, The Tommyknockers, and The Dark Tower are usually found in the horror section instead of science fiction or fantasy.

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