December 29, 2019

More on Tabletop RPG Genre

Today’s #worldbuildingMonday post centers on the differences in genres when translating them to a role playing game.

We all know that Mystery stories differ from Sci Fi which are different than Action Adventure, Spy, Drama, Comedy etc. Of course, they all share some common elements as well but, from a worldbuilding POV, having a strong connection with your genre can significantly expedite the various elements of building your world.

In Mystery for example, most oftentimes the central plot centers on a grand mystery of some kind. In which case, the world you build needs to dynamically react and conform to the various machinations of what drives that mystery. In each Sherlock Holmes tale for example, much of the gravity which drives the book surrounds the mystery’s context: the who, what, when, where, and why of the stolen jewel, murdered Count, missing Madame etc.

Whereas even in incredibly open-ended Action-Adventure stories, your characters will be in car chases, fighter plane battles, sword duels, and frantic escapes from undead mummies.

Prioritizing your worldbuilding preparation to account for these sequences is simply different than prioritizing the context of the grand mystery in Mystery.

And identifying your genre early, will make more efficient your worldbuilding process simply by better allowing you to allocate your time and attention accordingly. So take some time near the beginning of your work to solidify your genre. You won’t regret it!