Underrepresented Genres

Or Undercooked

What would you like to see in an RPG setting that hasn’t been explored much or needs a fresh perspective?

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I need to think about that.

I can’t think of a genre as I understand them that I’d say was underrepresented. I might be splitting hairs, though. I do that. But I imagine there’s as few subgenres and hybrids still in need of representation.

I like the old west as a genre, and I love to see the hybrids with that. Deadlands bring Horror into the west. Owl Hoot Trail brings fantasy into the west. The new “Inevitable” even brings Arthurian tales into the west. What about… A hard boiled western? Or a spy western like the old Wild Wild West series?


Hard boiled old west is a good choice. Modern police, RPG, that might be too close to home.

Is there an Ancient Rome game? Again of the hard boiled kind, no magic.
How about Ancient Greece? With or without the mythical parts. Heck a pan-mediterranean. Let everyone play.

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An ‘Ancient Greece’ one of a sort: Swords of Meropis and the Wretched Blood of the Undying Witchgod

Tiny Gunslingers covers the Spaghetti Western end of things. Would be, I think, relatively easy to add some flair to it.

But can you get Ennio Morricone to write your gaming music? :grinning:

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Sadly, not for the last 3½ years.

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Death really impacts your work flow.

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Let me get the spirit board.

Ghost investigator. Not someone that investigates ghosts, but someone that investigates for them. Help them, solve the issues that keep them from moving on.

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My brother is working on a setting inspired by the Arabian Nights boardgame, basically the PCs will be merchanting around the Indian Ocean (Africa to Indonesia), around 780AD, when the Baghdad Caliphate was top dog, with suitable magical elements added in. Trade and travel was wide enough that characters from Scandinavia to Japan could reasonably take part.

Sounds interesting. Don’t get carried off by a Roc.

I read The Seven Voyages of Sinbad many years ago. From what we know now anyone but Americans. You could play Samurai to an Englishman.

(Those Byzantines were the worse, noses stuck up and so forth.)

Hinterwelt did Roma Imperious. Haven’t looked at my copy in a few, but I still have it.

Mazes & Minotaurs

Bloody-Handed Name of Bronze

Babylon On Which Fame and Jubilation Are Bestowed

Mythic Babylon


Sorcerers of Ur-Turuk

Blood & Bronze

Masters of Damavand

The Nightmares Underneath

Warlords of Alexander, Zenobia, 43AD

2e AD&D had HR6 Age of Heroes & HR5 The Glory of Rome

Settings based on mythology and fantasy of the East, from their point of view and well translated, as opposed to written by a westerner (regardless of intention or education).


Clan of the Cave Bear. Paleolithic gaming. I’m not sure what you would do outside of survival.

On much the same order, Early Mezzo American. Anything from the various empires to being a Copper trader. Do we know enough to build a game?

East African Cultures. Use the mythos. They had Empires, wildmen, animals, and plenty of myths of creatures and magic.

I’ve read some pretty decent light novels using this genre. And a few full novels (thank you, Andre Norton).

The light novels I read in this genre were usually isekai types - someone reincarnated into another world or time, usually with their modern knowledge intact. The character’s drive to improve things for themselves, and sometimes their family or tribe, along with the opposition of traditionalists, religionists, or political powers form the backbone of most stories. This might work with a small gaming group, given that such storylines are typically focused on a single main character.

Ms. Norton’s Time Trader series dips into this genre as part of the backdrop for cold war nations to compete against each other for advanced alien tech and resources in Earth’s distant past, only to belatedly discover that the absentee aliens are not as dead as their paleolithic shipwrecks suggested they might be. This could work for a group of any size.

I recall another series, but forget the title or author, wherein an advanced civilization has discovered supertech sliding into alternate timelines/dimensions of Earth, and thus mine the natural resources of failed, destroyed, or otherwise uninhabited lines. I recall that reincarnation was a proven, if minor, part of the backstory and legal system.
They had discovered a scientific means of positively identifying a reincarnated individual, thus reclaiming any property and wealth from your previous lives was established law. This would be an interesting setting to explore. Especially as this reincarnation process worked across dimensions, thus bringing in people from multiple timelines. They had a bit of the British Empire manifest destiny attitude of superiority, but not to the point of conquering inhabited lines.
This would also be potential fun for an RPG - this sort of setup is actually the default setting of GURPS, with the addition of an evil alternate empire attempting to conquer everything and there being a dimensional sickness or planar rejection of foreign intruders which became stronger the further away you were from your home dimension, limiting how far one could travel and necessitating the recruitment of native forces to extend the effective reach. Basically the cold war on steroids and warming up fast.

Finally, I think that that having ancient tribes believing in bcompeting mythos and cosmologies, along with appropriately themed powers and abilities, would make such a setting interesting to explore. Definitely needs dinosaurs and dino-shapeshifters.

I couldn’t get into Clan of the Cave Bear (I guess at that time I needed a more interesting first chapter to motivate me when I have other things in my reading pile), but in general off the top of my head:

  • Ug thinks Og is hoarding food, but how to prove it to chief?
  • Grug is strong and keeps taking our kills, have to find way to stop him. Drop rocks on Grug’s head? Lure into sharptooth test? Poison mammoth as bait?
  • Tribe must move, but elders disagree on direction. Help find compromise.
  • Is Thag planning to kill chief?
  • River water change, now makes sick. Chief tells Pokkokk to find out why. (Weird version: rock fall from sky, must move it away from river but it burns when Pokkokk gets too close.)
  • Light and smoke in forest. If Groth bring back fire, Groth be next chief. What will Ugachaka do to bring fire first?

I don’t know anything about the paleolithic but neither do my friends, so this just might work.

That is the state of most people, but it sounds like you have the start of good campaign.

Oh Thag named spike thing on armor beast. We call it thagomizer for him getting hit.

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