…featuring Auntie Rosie, of course!
Some Thoughts On Favorite Roleplaying Genres
So I was recently thinking about the fact that I am both playing in and GMing D&D 5E fantasy games. I’m enjoying them both immensely, but I did realize that, outside of the odd game at conventions, I have not GMed anything but fantasy for several years.
This can, of course, be explained by the fact that D&D style fantasy games are by far the most popular and common types of rpgs out there. If you don’t believe me, check out the D&D Adventurers League or the Pathfinder Society.
Anyway, I was thinking about the genres of games that I have run since becoming a GM about just about 40 years ago. They cover a whole lot of ground and many rules systems, so I thought I’d do up a list. My memory not being what it used to be, I’m sure I left a couple out, but here are the ones I remember, along with the rules systems I used.
Around 500 individual sessions spread out among 7-8 lengthy campaigns and many short ones & one shots, mostly using D&D/AD&D, but with sidetrips into Tunnels & Trolls, Runequest, GURPS Fantasy, Talislanta, and a few homebrew systems.
Science Fiction, mostly Space Opera
Around 50 sessions, mostly in 3 campaigns. Traveller, GURPS Space and a modification of D&D (for a short Star Trek campaign) were the systems of choice.
Around 60 sessions, pretty much evenly split between Ravenloft for AD&D and straight up Call of Cthulhu.
Hero/Weird Menace Pulp
Around 150 sessions, including 4 campaigns. I used the Justice Inc. rules for Hero System at first, but then moved to Chaosiums Basic Roleplaying, GURPS Cliffhangers, D&D, Fudge and Over The Edge.
At least 60 sessions, almost all using Over The Edge, but a few using Fudge.
Only about 10 sessions, with 6 of those using Boot Hill and the remainder using Basic Roleplaying.
200 sessions, mostly using Toon, but with a good bit of Paranoia and a couple of others I can’t recall.
Time Travel/Dimension Hopping
About 10 sessions, all using Fudge
Only 2 sessions, since I am nobody’s historian. Used Call of Cthulhu rules.
About 5 sessions, using the James Bond rules.
Science Fiction, Post Apocalypse
Around a dozen sessions, mostly using GURPS mixed with Car Wars, but a few using Over The Edge.
Science Fiction, Other
Around 8 sessions. Includes everything from a robot uprising to 1950’s giant bugs. Call of Cthulhu rules and Over The Edge.
2 sessions, using Basic Roleplaying.
Assorted Other Genres
10 sessions. Everything from Bunnies & Burrows to Planet of the Apes, using a bunch of systems.
Hmm, that works out to 1,069 gaming sessions. Let’s round it up to 1,700. That comes to a bit over 42 sessions a year over 40 years. Considering that in 1982 and 1983 I ran 2 sessions of AD&D a week for about 48 weeks each year, that takes care of 192. Add in a few one shots and we’ll call that 200. Still comes to an average of 39.4 sessions a year, although several of those years had over 50 sessions a year and some had less than a dozen.
Next time, I might write about genres I’d like to GM more often.