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View Full Version : What systems are best for what Genres?



Tyndmyr
2011-11-16, 02:22 PM
Now, we all know that no one system is perfect at everything...so, what would you say are your ideal systems for each notable genre(add more if you don't like the examples, and feel free to justify your favorites)

Examples:

Western: Deadlands
High Fantasy: D&D 3.5
Low Fantasy: 7th Sea
Modern: D20 M
Cyberpunk: Shadowrun
Humor: Paranoia
Horror: Call of Cthulhu

Thoughts?

Krazzman
2011-11-16, 03:02 PM
High Fantasy: DnD 3.5/Pathfinder
Humor: see High Fantasy
Low Fantasy: DSA (Except I don't like it)
Sci-fi: Shadowrun
Horror: DnD (gave the highest chills so far but never played CoC, going to start a AFMBE campaign soon :3)

It's a hard guess to say something about roleplaying topics you never played before. We had some horrific moments with dnd, fun moments ensue every other time while playing every system. And for Low Fantasy the system I know is dsa...and it sucks for me...

Myshlaevsky
2011-11-16, 04:02 PM
I'm always a bit uncertain on how to draw genre boundaries in RPGs. For instance, would Unknown Armies be 'Modern' or 'Low Fantasy' or either?

Hiro Protagonest
2011-11-16, 04:22 PM
Far East: Exalted (rules heavy), Wushu (rules light)
Anything really: D&D 3.5 or 4e (don't know about older editions but apparently they had a "classes as in-game constructs" thing), GURPS

Psyren
2011-11-16, 04:31 PM
I hear Iron Kingdoms is great at low-fantasy, don't know how true that is though.

I would probably add Mutants & Masterminds for Superhero (again, based on what I've heard.)

CarpeGuitarrem
2011-11-16, 04:36 PM
Modern "dungeon-crawling", exploration, and suspense: World of Darkness (it's rules-lite enough to be easy to come up with stuff on the fly)
Character-based drama: Mouse Guard and Burning Wheel
Fantasy: FATE 3.0 with modifications, Old School Hack
Random craziness: Risus

Beleriphon
2011-11-16, 04:59 PM
Superheroes (or any comic dervied): Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition or 3rd Edition; Champions (not my preferred system, but very popular)
Fantasy: Pick your poison. ;)
Modern: GURPS or D20 Modern depending on preferences. M&M can be used for the more secret agent style games as well.

Totally Guy
2011-11-16, 07:18 PM
Comedy can be done with Inspectres and Fiasco.

Emmerask
2011-11-16, 07:34 PM
High Fantasy: DnD 3.5/Pathfinder
Humor: see High Fantasy
Low Fantasy: DSA (Except I don't like it)
Sci-fi: Shadowrun
Horror: DnD (gave the highest chills so far but never played CoC, going to start a AFMBE campaign soon :3)

It's a hard guess to say something about roleplaying topics you never played before. We had some horrific moments with dnd, fun moments ensue every other time while playing every system. And for Low Fantasy the system I know is dsa...and it sucks for me...

I personally love dsa (or dark eye how it is called in the us) mainly not because the system is especially ingenious mechanic wise (I would call 4e solid though) but because of the most awesome campaign, setting and fluff there is in all fantasy rpgs :smallbiggrin:

So yes I second Dsa for low fantasy :smalltongue:

Kerrin
2011-11-16, 08:45 PM
I'll weigh in on the Humor category: Toon!

Or, maybe that should be the Silly category?

TheThan
2011-11-16, 08:47 PM
Iíll throw in two

BESM (Big eyes Small Mouth)=anime of any genre
Spirit of the Century= pulp action adventure

Tengu_temp
2011-11-16, 09:13 PM
DND is terrible for high fantasy. Too equipment-dependant, characters don't feel epic enough, 3.5 is too unbalanced in favor of mages and 4e is too dry and slow in its combat. The best high fantasy game I probably played is Earthdawn - it actually feels heroic and epic, and the setting is exotic and filled with mysteries and wonder.

Mutants and Masterminds 2e/3e is superior to BESM when it comes to running anime-style games. In fact, I hate to sound like a total fanboy, but M&M really tends to be the best or one of the best games out there for any cinematic settings - superheroes, action anime, space opera, you name it.

The best system for Wuxia is Weapons of the Gods. It's Exalted done right.

TheOOB
2011-11-16, 09:18 PM
DND is terrible for high fantasy. Too equipment-dependant, characters don't feel epic enough, 3.5 is too unbalanced in favor of mages and 4e is too dry and slow in its combat. The best high fantasy game I probably played is Earthdawn - it actually feels heroic and epic, and the setting is exotic and filled with mysteries and wonder.

Mutants and Masterminds 2e/3e is superior to BESM when it comes to running anime-style games. In fact, I hate to sound like a total fanboy, but M&M really tends to be the best or one of the best games out there for any cinematic settings - superheroes, action anime, space opera, you name it.

The best system for Wuxia is Weapons of the Gods. It's Exalted done right.

Personally, I think D&D is should be more appropriately labeled as heroic fantasy than high fantasy. It is high fantasy to be sure, but actual gameplay mechanics encourage more Conan and less Lord of the Rings.

As for best in genre, I think that's always an opinion thing, and I think it's more important to pick a system based on what kind of play the mechanics encourage rather than how well the setting represents a genre. D&D for example, has an extreme focus on tactical combat(especially with 4e), which makes sense because D&D is, at it's heart, a war game where you only play one character. As such, if you like tactical combat, it's great, but if you don't want a lot of combat in your game, D&D may not be the system for you.

Knaight
2011-11-16, 10:17 PM
Western: Dogs in the Vineyard
High Fantasy: Warrior Rogue and Mage
Low Fantasy: Fudge
Historical Fiction: Chronica Feudalis
Sword and Sorcery: Blood Sweat and Steel
Modern: GURPS
Modern Fantasy: World of Darkness
Cyberpunk: Shadowrun
Humor: Paranoia or Fiasco
Horror: Dread
Investigative: GUMSHOE
Investigative-Horror: Trail of Cthulhu
Wuxia: Qin: The Warring States
Space Opera: Fudge
Science Fiction: GURPS

Vknight
2011-11-16, 11:23 PM
High Fantasy: D&D/Pathfinder
Fantasy: D&D/Pathfinder
Low Fantasy: *I don't know*
Furry: Furry Pirates or Ironclaw
Sci Fi + Horror: Eclipse Phase
Sci Fi: Eclipse Phase
Cyberpunk: Shadowrun
Western: Deadlands
Horror: CoC or Little Fears(Only if you have good players that can handle characters between the ages of 6-13 in CoC style scenarios)
Modern Fantasy: Dresden Files
Superhero: Mutants & Masterminds (Anything is possible if you actually think and look through the books)
Comedy: Fiasco for movie situations. Maid for well its maid.
Movie Based License: Star Wars Saga Edition
General: GURPS
Child Based Characters: Monsters & Other Childish Things
Post Apocalyptic: Dark Sun personally
Fan made Rpg: Pokemon the Tabletop Adventures

Tengu_temp
2011-11-17, 08:39 AM
Personally, I think D&D is should be more appropriately labeled as heroic fantasy than high fantasy. It is high fantasy to be sure, but actual gameplay mechanics encourage more Conan and less Lord of the Rings.

Not really. Heroic fantasy is all about being bold and daring and charging in without hesitation, knowing that your skills will pull you through. DND is all about being overly careful and prepared and decking out in tons of magical gear that is necessary for decent performance at higher levels. Plus, in DND 3e Conan would never defeat all those evil wizards he fights all the time.

Knaight
2011-11-17, 09:05 AM
Not really. Heroic fantasy is all about being bold and daring and charging in without hesitation, knowing that your skills will pull you through. DND is all about being overly careful and prepared and decking out in tons of magical gear that is necessary for decent performance at higher levels. Plus, in DND 3e Conan would never defeat all those evil wizards he fights all the time.

I view D&D as fantasy black ops more than anything. One plans, one plots, one gets the best gear, and then one executes carefully planned missions. Sure, in true narrative style they go haywire a few times, but its closer to Shadowrun in gameplay than, say, Burning Wheel.

flumphy
2011-11-17, 09:10 AM
Hmm. Here's a question that's often bugged me. What RPG would you guys say is the best for non-comedy? With everything I've tried, I always have to work hard not to turn a game into a parody of itself, even when I start out going for a serious tone.

Since the subversion of Paranoia is actually an Orwellian dystopia played straight, I think that might actually be in the running, but I feel as though there has to be something better. oWod has a certain tone going for it, but on the other hand, its datedness leaves a lot to make fun of. Plus, using oWoD would require playing oWoD.

Knaight
2011-11-17, 09:48 AM
Hmm. Here's a question that's often bugged me. What RPG would you guys say is the best for non-comedy? With everything I've tried, I always have to work hard not to turn a game into a parody of itself, even when I start out going for a serious tone.
Dread. Its a high tension horror game, and it does not lend itself well to the comedic - though in character black comedy is very possible. Now, that said, I do think that The Iron Fist of New Atlantis could work for this, and it is written by one of our very own members on these boards. He's a self promoting hack, but I consider it a good game.

Glimbur
2011-11-17, 07:42 PM
Romance*: Wuthering Heights (http://www.unseelie.org/rpg/wh/index.html)

*by a more archaic definition of romance, more like Pride and Prejudice than a bodice-ripper.

CarpeGuitarrem
2011-11-17, 08:25 PM
Also, Pendragon strikes me as an excellent system for low-fantasy gaming. Or, rather, low-magic high fantasy.

Urpriest
2011-11-17, 09:47 PM
Ecological Thriller: Blue Planet

Mastikator
2011-11-18, 07:59 AM
IMO
High Fantasy: Exalted
Medium Fantasy: D&D 3.5 E6
Low Fantasy: Trudvagn
Horror: Call of Cthulhu

Krazzman
2011-11-18, 08:34 AM
I personally love dsa (or dark eye how it is called in the us) mainly not because the system is especially ingenious mechanic wise (I would call 4e solid though) but because of the most awesome campaign, setting and fluff there is in all fantasy rpgs :smallbiggrin:

So yes I second Dsa for low fantasy :smalltongue:

DSA has nice artwork, fanfic, official story lines etc... but the mechanics are too low fantasy for me, we played completely without casters because the dm never had the passion to read himself into it...

My character (a Scout/Pathfinder fighting with a shortspear or crossbow) was not that rarely completely left out with loot, plot hooks and so on and even a totally IN character justification for a "wish" was looked on with disgrace...my equipment failed me that often, the first time I actually got a frigging crossbow, I destroyed it and nearly killed myself. And even an in character speaking about how I need a damned better crossbow (we were fighting ghosts) was "intercepted" by dm fiat: "if you say that one more time you'll lose "EP"."

Valameer
2011-11-18, 08:54 AM
Dungeon Crawling: AD&D. The Godfather of our RPG genre, though not many have taken the time to play it. Countless monsters to fight/avoid/run away from. Tons of spells (all centered around adventuring-use). Easy to pick up, and fun to play. And the adventure modules are very memorable.

Unlike 3rd Edtion, it isn't well suited to a wide variety of genres, but that's ok, because it doesn't try to be something it's not (not that 3rd does). It's about your standard joe warrior who eventually becomes Conan. By "finding" a bunch of other thing's treasure.

D&D created the dungeon-crawling genre, and I think AD&D runs a dungeon-crawl the best.

horngeek
2011-11-20, 06:42 PM
I hear Iron Kingdoms is great at low-fantasy, don't know how true that is though.

I would probably add Mutants & Masterminds for Superhero (again, based on what I've heard.)

M&M can also model Anime quite handily.

UserClone
2011-11-21, 06:51 PM
Okay, I seem to be missing something here: what is DSA?

Valameer
2011-11-21, 07:43 PM
DSA: Das Schwarze Auge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Eye) or "The Dark Eye" is a German low fantasy game. I don't know much about it other than what wikipedia tells me, but from my understanding it has a rich setting and lots of fluff. I only really knew about it through a German girlfriend whos brother used to play it.

Milo v3
2011-11-22, 07:17 AM
I can see one clear winner amoung my choices:
High Fantasy: The Window
Fantasy: The Window
Low Fantasy: The Window
Dark Fantasy: The Window
Sci Fi + Horror: The Window
Sci Fi: The Window
Cyberpunk: The Window
Western: The Window
Horror: Call Of Cthulhu
Modern Fantasy: The Window
Superhero: The Window
General: The Window
Post Apocalyptic: The Window
Fan made Rpg: Pokemon the Tabletop Adventures
Anime-Style: The Window

Vknight
2011-11-22, 09:56 AM
I can see one clear winner amoung my choices:
High Fantasy: The Window
Fantasy: The Window
Low Fantasy: The Window
Dark Fantasy: The Window
Sci Fi + Horror: The Window
Sci Fi: The Window
Cyberpunk: The Window
Western: The Window
Horror: Call Of Cthulhu
Modern Fantasy: The Window
Superhero: The Window
General: The Window
Post Apocalyptic: The Window
Fan made Rpg: Pokemon the Tabletop Adventures
Anime-Style: The Window

I don't see it. Is it Call... no that can't be right. Is it 'The Window'? What window where?

Milo v3
2011-11-22, 03:43 PM
I don't see it. Is it Call... no that can't be right. Is it 'The Window'? What window where?

Its a clear winner. Of course you can't see it. :smallbiggrin: