Monday, September 5, 2011

Genre checklist

This Genre checklist is largely designed for use with Earth-based games, specifically Urban Fantasy and Modern Horror. Still, it's usable for any system as Dungeons and Dragons can focus on a Rogue and a Fighter working cases in the City Watch in a Police Procedural style game. It's probably a good idea, though, to substitute a few specific fantasy sub-genres such as Sword & Sorcery for Action and add sub-genres such as Low Fantasy and High Fantasy.

Okay, so here's how I did it. I went and got a Checklist format from Microsoft Word and changed the five categories to Hate it! Dislike It! Don't Mind It! Enjoy It! Love It!

Then I included this list of genres and information:

Police Procedural (Tracing leads, interrogating suspects, finding witnesses)

Action (Fight scenes, extreme sports, car chases, daring escapes, explosions)

Comedy (NPCs played for laughs, farcical situations, funny events)

Adventure (Journeys to epic or distant places to accomplish a mission or goal)

Espionage (Tailing cars, wearing a wire, stealing information)

Romance (A story about falling in love and dealing with it)

Fantasy (Magic, myth, supernatural forces, places of staggering beauty that shouldn’t be)

Politics (Scheming figures, betrayals, long-spanning goals)

Historical (A story about a real event of person, whether dead or alive)

Splatterpunk Horror (Gore, grotesquerie, often sick and twisted humans, Clive Barker)

Chilling Horror (The slow build, ever-present danger, lasting fear)

Survival Horror (Vulnerable people put in risky situations that must be endured / fled)

Paranoid (Conspiracies glimpsed but never fully understood, cults, hidden worlds)

PVP (Player versus Player, awful secrets between players, hidden betrayals)

Drama (A focus on character development and interpersonal relationships)

Slice of Life (A story that represents a portion of everyday life)

Crime (The seedy underbelly, committing crimes, heists, cons)

Resource Games (Changing the face of the local area through money, allies, and retainers)

I'll pass it out amongst my players and see what their choices are. I figure this is a fairly simple and easy one to hand out with their character sheets and it doesn't take as much time as the short answer idea. Remember, though, to ALWAYS allow players to opt out of filling in one of these surveys. Don't threaten, cajole, or annoy them. Some players just like the game you have going for them or just don't want to invest as much thought. Hell, some players just hate surveys. There's no point irritating your players if your end goal is to keep them entertained and happy.

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