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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Genre Badge: Settings

I figure genre badges can be divided into two groups: Themes, like the Spy/Crime badge I posted earlier, and Settings, Setting doesn't need to be too specific, but I figure the three broad time categories (Historic, Modern, Future) are a good start. There are a couple broad areas in Historic and Future that could be broken out, though.

My game has a Prehistoric feel or setting. By this, I mean pre-city, pre-metal, probably very little technology as we understand it. This is for realistic Stone Age, Flintstones, or intelligent dinosaurs.

My game has an Ancient feel or setting. This is everything from Copper or Bronze Age through Medieval; the unifying feel is "metal tools, human or animal power."

My game has an Historic feel or setting. This is everything with guns: yes, technically, there were guns in Medieval Europe, but practically, gunpowder is the breakpoint for many players and GMs. I thought about doing a Cowboy badge, but I'm not really sure it's all that different from other age of gunpowder settings, aside from the small details
My game has a Modern feel or setting. Everything set more or less now, but we can allow leeway and count anything with modern cities and widespread use of the internal combustion engine as "modern", because again this is a breakpoint for some players.

My game has a Post-Apocalyptic feel or setting. The future, but without the conveniences of readily-available technology.

I still need a Space badge and a generic Future badge, if I can find a good concept for one. Note that none of these demand strict adherence to any historical facts; they are all about the feel of the setting. To indicate a strict historical campaign, use the badge with the By The Book badge; on the other hand, you can combine it with the Gonzo badge or the Improv badge to indicate you will be deviating significantly from real-world history.


  1. "Space" could probably be profitably subdivided into "FTL" and "no FTL". Or "Future" into "Space travel" and "no Space travel". Whichever works best for you.

  2. Those are certainly valid divisions, but are they dealbreakers? Would a player get angry at a GM's space campaign if it turned out to be slower than light travel?

    I split Post-Apoc and Space off from Future because they seem like very different campaigns: in Post-Apoc, tech exists and may potentially be used, but for the most part it plays like an Ancient, Historic or Prehistoric campaign. In generic Future, the campaign is basically identical to what you might find in a Modern campaign, just with access to fancy tech. Space travel may exist, but adventures don't happen in space, normally. A true Space campaign focuses on travel and usually winds up as space combat, trading, or planetary/stellar hexcrawl.

  3. I think that some players might. There is certainly a very different feel between, say, Jovian Chronicles and Traveller that goes far beyond the anime tropes of the former. Similarly, there is a distinct similarity between Traveller and Star Frontiers despite the raygun aesthetic of the latter.