Fantasy RPG games
RPG games: Roleplaying games are more than just Dungeons and Dragons. We look at RPG games with a real fantasy twist. Victorians, steampunks, transgenders and faeries take note!
You can find out about different types of role playing games, but in this article we’re going to look at RPG genres so you can decide what sort of game you’d like to play. Let’s start by delving into the RPG genre of fantasy!
The first game I would like to bring to attention is Castle Falkenstein. It is set in a place called New Europa, where Faerie and humans live in an uneasy truce. Mythical creatures also traverse these lands, and it is set in the Victorian Era of a different plane. Even Sherlock Holmes is in this universe, along with several other storybook characters. Castle Falkenstein has a unique system (a set of rules to show what your character can and cannot do), using cards instead of dice so as to fit into the theme. Not only that, but the core rulebook is also a novel, telling the story of a man that was kidnapped from our world into theirs, explaining how the game works from there. If you like steampunk or feel that the Victorian or faerie elements of this game resonate with you, do go check it out!
The next game to bring attention to is Blue Rose. It is a romantic fantasy RPG that takes place in a world called Aldea. It supports a strongly progressive world view in the gameworld of the setting, with the objectively correct viewpoints in general being feminism, environmentalism, and acceptance of homosexual-transgender lifestyles being the generally correct one (which also earned the game some rancor from online reviewers as being a ‘gay role-playing game’. It was accused of being naïve and possessing a setting that was far too modern with its liberal views). Nonetheless, Blue Rose still carries much of the fantasy genre in it, with sentient telepathic animals, secret dark-magic cults, and a kingdom ruled by a version of theocracy, and will at least be interesting for a game between you and your friends! Here’s a Blue Rose demo for you to check out.
The third game here is called Deliria and it’s an urban fantasy genre game. If you like fairy tales told in modern times(see, ‘The Rose and the Beast’, by Fransesca Lia Block, or ‘The Blue Girl’ by Charles DeLint, much of Holly Black’s books, or Melissa Marr), then you should like this. The idea is much like those books, in where the players play characters that are ordinary people in an extraordinary world. They incorporate threads of fantasy and horror (much like my beloved World of Darkness), and there are even faeries! This is a system that is extremely flexible to the players – it focuses more on storytelling and roleplaying than actual stats, and relies on a basic minimum of Challenge, Prowess, Chance, and Result. A Challenge is solved with Prowess. If necessary, a player’s character takes a Chance that can add or subtract to the Prowess score, and success or failure is the Result, which is described in narrative, instead of a series of numbers. Dangerous and beautiful, I highly recommend this game for anyone that enjoys modern faerie tales.
Of course, we must inevitably come to the big one. Fantasy, thy name is Dungeons and Dragons. Almost everyone’s heard of this setting, but how many people actually know how it works? With the recent release of 4E, Dungeons and Dragons has been getting more and more people playing with their easier-to-use systems and diverse classes and races. However, some of the long-time players are slightly disappointed with the fourth edition, and have stuck to the 3.5. Since 3.5 is out of print, and will no longer be made anymore, I highly recommend the revamped 3.5 core book, Pathfinder for any who still want to try it out. The basic idea behind the DnD setting is that the world is a dark, dark place. Towns and cities act as havens from this darkness, protecting commoners, and those few people, adventurers, will fight that darkness. This ends up in hundreds of tales of valiant heroes, horrid villains and epic games that bring people together. It could definitely just be used for your own custom setting, however. The game is played with checks and character sheets, rolling dice to see how these checks are executed, and also giving the game a good deal of chance.
And as a parting word, remember: a female RPG gamer is a rare creature indeed, so there may be odd points, but mostly, everything turns out great. Have fun, mooky readers, and make sure you get your daily dose of Mountain Dew. I know I haven’t.
Dungeons and Dragons