Friday, August 8, 2014

Why Isn't There A Game For That?

There are a number of genres/subgenres that are under-utilized or not utilized at all in rpgs, despite the fact they would probably work pretty well. Here are a few off the top of my head:

Humorous Adventure Pulp
Basically this would cover the whimsical, fantastical, and often violent world of Thimble Theatre (later Popeye) and the Fleischer Popeye cartoon. A lot of fist-fights, fewer guns. This would also cover Little Orphan Annie, various kid gang comics, and (on the more violent end) Dick Tracy.

Wainscot Fantasy
Little creatures hiding in the big world. Think The Burrowers, The Littles, and Fraggle Rock.

Kid Mystery Solvers
Scooby Doo is probably the most well-known example, but you've got several Hanna-Barbera returns to the same concept. Ditch weird pet/side kick, and you've got The Three Investigators, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys.

Wacky Races
I've written about this one before--and Richard has run it. Still needs a game, though.


16 comments:

Brandon Lighter said...

There was a series of Dungeon Magazine articles in the early 2000's that tried to introduce the d20 system to new (mostly humorous) genres. I know they covered the Wacky Race and Kid Mystery Solvers concepts. I'll see if I can dig up links for you...

rainswept said...

You best me to it, Mr. Lighter. The awesome Hi Jinx was from Polyhedron 158/Dungeon 99. Paizo sells a pdf.

Trey said...

Cool! Thanks for the heads up, guys.

Joshua Dyal said...

As a slightly off-topic aside, The Great Race is one of my favorite movies from the vast body of movies that are older than me.

garrisonjames said...

I think that designers have tended to lean on 'generic' systems that can be adapted to these or other genres, like say GURPs or FATE or some other acronymic abstract amusement apparatus. Do you really need a dedicated system to play a Popeye game? Maybe not...but a system that was hardwired to handle the specific expectations and conventions of that genre would be a great way to immerse oneself in the cool-stuff that informs that particular sort of thing. Maybe WaRP could be re-worked to serve each of these examples...

Chris C. said...

It's true I would never have thought of these myself, but they'd probably make good games. I could totally see myself playing a humorous adventure pulp, like Popeye.

Jack said...

Doesn't the Rocky & Bullwinkle game with the hand-puppets count for "humorous adventure pulp"?

Okay, I know full well it doesn't count for anything.

ninjasridingdinosaurs said...

Scooby Doo - Cthulhu mashups actually seem to be pretty popular amongst Savage Worlds GMs. I've thought of running one myself as a one-shot.

Tom Ryan said...

Toon?

bombasticus said...

I have been waiting for a Popeye game since that property went public domain (also gonzo Popeye fan films but that's another story) and attaching it to the Bullwinkle & Rocky game flicks a big light bulb.

Now where did I put that spinner....

Jeffry Willis said...

There is a game about tiny people. It's a spin off or expansion of Mermaid Adventures. *Thimble*

http://rpggeek.com/rpgitem/145252/thimble

The Secret World of Arrietty is an amazing film, btw.

Simon J. Hogwood said...

Ken Hite is reportedly working on a Kid Detective variant of 'Trail of Cthulhu' called 'Bubblegumshoe'.

Fabien Lyraud said...

Do you remember The Comets, a wacking race Hannah Barbera series about a futuristic skating race ?

Trey said...

Good suggestions, guys.

@Fabien - You've stumped me with that one!

Fabien Lyraud said...

For the Wainscott fantasy you have two french games :
- Elfirie : for playing little faerie creatures living among the human house.
- Nains et jardins : for playing a garden dwarf.

mwschmeer said...

Meddling Kids = Scooby Doo rpg

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=83837&


Monster Kart Racing = Wacky Races

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/accessiblegames/monster-kart-mayhem-a-fudge-kart-racing-rpg

http://www.accessiblegames.biz/our-games/monster-kart-mayhem/