Tabletop RPG Games by Genre

Tabletop RPG Games by Genre
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A D&D game session in progress

A D&D game session in progress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a list of several RPGs and the genres fit into. Some games are harder to classify than others, so you may not agree with my placement; as always, YMMV. Also, a few games fit more than one genre. In this case, I’ve placed them in all genres I feel are appropriate.

Animals (You play animals)

  • Bunnies and Burrows
  • Critter Commandos
  • Furry Pirates
  • Justifiers
  • Mouseguard
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Anime

  • Big Eyes, Small Mouths
  • In Nomine: Anime
  • Teenagers From Outer Space

Cartoon

  • Bullwinkle and Rocky Role-Playing Party Game
  • Elfquest
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Toon

Fantasy (also called “High Fantasy”, “Straight Fantasy”)

  • 7th Sea
  • AGE
  • Amber Diceless RPG
  • Arcanum
  • Arduin
  • Aria
  • Ars Magica
  • Burning Wheel
  • Castles & Crusades
  • Chivalry and Sorcery
  • Conan
  • Dangerous Journeys
  • DragonQuest
  • DragonRaid
  • Dungeons and Dragons (all editions)
  • Earth Dawn
  • Elfquest
  • Elric
  • Empire of the Petal Throne
  • Everway
  • Exalted
  • Fantasy Hero
  • Furry Pirates
  • HackMaster
  • Harn
  • Iron Claw
  • Lace and Steel
  • Lord of the Rings
  • One Ring
  • OSRIC
  • Man, Myth, and Magic
  • Middle Earth Role Play
  • Palladium
  • Pathfinder
  • Pendragon
  • RoleMaster
  • RuneQuest
  • Talislantia
  • Top Secret
  • Tunnels and Trolls
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
  • Ysgarth

Historical (includes SF and fantasy firmly grounded in a historical periods)

  • Adventure (1920′s)
  • Ars Magica (Medieval; Fantasy)
  • Bushido (Feudal Japan)
  • Call of Cthulhu (1920′s; Horror)
  • Castle Falkenstein (Victorian; Fantasy)
  • Gangbusters (1920′s)
  • Gaslight (Victorian)
  • Indiana Jones (1920′s)
  • Lace and Steel (Cavalier)
  • Legend of the Five Rings (Feudal Japan)
  • Mouseguard (Medieval)
  • Pendragon (Medieval)
  • Qin (China, Warring States period)
  • Space 1889 (Victorian; SF)
  • Vampire: Dark Ages
  • various GURPS supplements, including Japan, Russia, China, etc.
  • Victoriana (Victorian)
  • Werewolf: Wild West

Horror

  • All Flesh Must Be Eaten
  • Call of Cthulhu (and it’s off-shoots such as Cthulhu by Gaslight, Cthulhupunk, etc.)
  • Chill
  • Deadlands
  • GURPS Horror
  • It Came From the Late, Late Show
  • Kult
  • Little Fears
  • Necroscope
  • Nephilim
  • Nocture
  • Ravenloft (AD&D and d20)
  • Unknown Armies
  • Whispering Vault
  • World of Darkness
  • Zombi

Humor

  • Bullwinkleand Rocky Role-Playing Party Game
  • Bureau 13
  • Ghostbusters RPG
  • HoL
  • Macho Women with Guns
  • Murphy’s World
  • Pandemonium
  • Paranoia
  • SLUG
  • Stuporpowers
  • Tales of the Floating Vagabond
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Teenagers From Outer Space
  • Toon

Modern

  • Bureau 13
  • Dream Park
  • Dresdan Files
  • Etherscope
  • Feng Shui
  • Gumshoe
  • Immortal
  • In Nomine
  • James Bond 007
  • Macho Women with Guns
  • Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes
  • Ninjas and Superspies
  • Nobilis
  • Over the Edge
  • Pandemonium
  • Scion
  • Stargate SG-1
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Twilight 2000
  • World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Wraith/Ghost, Changeling, Hunter, etc.)
  • Unknown Armies
  • X-Crawl

Near Future

  • Aberrant
  • Cybergenereation
  • Cyberpunk
  • Judge Dredd
  • Shadowrun
  • Teenagers From Outer Space
  • Trinity
  • Underground

Post-Apocolyptic

  • Aftermath!
  • Darwin’s World
  • Gamma World

Science Fiction

  • 2300 AD
  • Alternity
  • Blue Planet
  • Darwin’s World
  • Dr. Who
  • Fading Suns (D&D)
  • Gamma World
  • HoL
  • Jovian Chronicles
  • Justifiers
  • Mekton
  • Murphy’s World
  • Paranoia
  • Serenity
  • Skyrealms of Jorune
  • SpellJammer (D&D)
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Tales of the Floating Vagabond
  • Traveller
  • Trinity
  • Universe

Spies (Espionage)

  • James Bond 007
  • Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes
  • Ninjas and Superspies
  • Top Secret

Steampunk/Victorian

  • Castle Falkenstein
  • Cthulhu by Gaslight
  • Gaslight
  • Space 1889

Superhero

  • Aberrant
  • Champions
  • DC Heroes
  • DC Universe Roleplaying Game
  • Marvel Superheros
  • Mutants and Masterminds
  • Stuporpowers
  • Villians and Vigilantes

Westerns

  • Boot Hill
  • Deadlands

Licensed Games (based on books, movies, or TV shows)

  • Amber Diceless RPG (Amber series by Roger Zelazny)
  • Bullwinkle and Rocky Role-Playing Party Game
  • Conan
  • Dr. Who (Dr. Who TV series)
  • Dresdan Files (Dresdan Files books and TV)
  • Elfquest
  • Elric
  • Ghostbusters RPG
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Middle Earth Role Play
  • One Ring (Lord of the Rings)
  • Serenity (Firefly TV series and Serenity movie)
  • Space Opera
  • Star Frontiers
  • Stargate SG-1
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars (Star Wars franchise)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • TWERPS

Generic or multiple genres

  • d20
  • Amazing Engine
  • Dream Park
  • FATE
  • FUDGE
  • GURPS
  • Hero System
  • Rifts
  • Savage Worlds
  • SLUG
  • TORG
  • TWERPS

Of course, this is by no means and exhaustive list. I concentrated on games available in the US, mostly because I’m not familiar with any others. Even so, I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone’s favorite game; if so, leave me a comment and I’ll include it in a revised list.

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4 Responses to “Tabletop RPG Games by Genre”

  1. aka.john says:

    A few more:

    Spycraft – I have 2E but never got a chance to play

    Dark Matter – Another D20 game I’ve never got to play

    Mechwarrior – Played it, but why when I can command up to 100 tons of murderous nuclear powered death around the battlefield

    And don’t forget all the new 40K games: Rogue Trader, Only War, Dark Hersey, Black Crusade and Death Watch.
    aka.john´s last blog post ..1st 40k battle a success.

  2. John says:

    If you’re trying to be complete, I don’t see Rifts anywhere, which would probably fit under Post-Apocolyptic and maybe Fantasy.

    Also, two other Modern rpgs I have sitting around are Nightlife and The Everlasting.

    • Jade says:

      @John Thanks for the tip. Actually, Rifts is there under “multiple genres” near the bottom. Thanks for letting me know about Nightlife and Everlasting. Those are two I’m not familiar with.

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