#RPGaDay 30: are RPG genre mash-ups really necessary?

“What is an RPG genre mash-up that you would like to see?”

Really, I don’t need this. I have’t gamed enough yet, in any one genre*, to be out looking to mash two genres together into something else. I doubt I ever will.

That’s not to say I’m adverse to mash-ups arising naturally through play. But I’m not looking for any publisher to say “Arthurian Myth! Giant Robots! Cool! Buy this! It’s different!” No, it’s not.

I guess the “first world war pilots vs. Alien invaders” campaign I’m running might be described as a “genre mashup” but I’d call it “horror”.

So instead, is there a genre missing from the world of published RPGs? Obviously not, because you can play some RPG in pretty much any genre. But if I were to identify one genre I haven’t ever gamed in, and that I’d like to, I think I would say “Magical Realism” in the tone of 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. (“Magic! Realism! Together! Cool! It’s different!”)

But I don’t need anyone to publish a ruleset for it. I could play it in Fate or Cortex Prime both of which are toolkits for creating the game you want. I probably wouldn’t choose to play it in GURPS, which is too “simulationist” to emulate the narrative magic of the genre. There is a rule system I bought and haven’t yet tried though, which I think might be perfect for the personal and social, occasionally generational narratives of Magical Realism. And that’s DramaSystem, sold in your local store or on-line as Hillfolk. I did toy with running a short campaign based on Sons of Anarchy (“Shakespearean tragedy! Biker gangs! Cool! Different!”). I only tinkered with the idea and it didn’t go anywhere, but reading the system, I know it would work for that show, and thinking back on it, I’m sure it would work for Magical Realism too.

*No, not even European based fantasy

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