Role-playing game: a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting.Wikipedia

This section is all about role-playing games (RPGs). This is a list of those that I have, many of which I played or ran as the gamemaster. Some of them I planned to run but didn’t. Many I have but never got around to play. There are others I’ve played over the years,1 in conventions for instance, or in local gaming clubs.

Role-playing games categories

There are a ton of RPGs out there, and I wish I could have them all! I broadly classify them by theme, and sometimes by style within a theme. For example there are many Fantasy RPGs, some of them are gritty2 and some are narrative.3 Everybody has different views on which is what so this is not an official list of categories, just the way that I classify them. And it is not an exhaustive list, just those I have and/or have played. YMMV4

Fantasy RPGs

Science-Fiction RPGs

  • Firefly
  • Mega-Traveller
  • Mindjammer (there is a Fate Core version and a MGT version)
  • Savage Worlds (SF)
  • Star Frontiers
  • Star Siege
  • Stars Without Number
  • Traveller (LBB)
  • Traveller 5 (Mark’s edition)
  • Traveller d20
  • Traveller from Mongoose (MGT)
  • Traveller TNE

Post-cataclysmic RPGs

  • Gamma World
  • Mutant Crawl Classic
  • Mutant Year-Zero
  • RIFT
  • Savage Worlds (Rift)
  • The Morrow Project

Horror RPGs

Pulp RPGs

  • Pulp Cthulhu
  • Spirit of the Century

Martial Arts RPGs

  • Feng Shui
  • Qin
  1. I’ve been playing role-playing games since 1982. I went to a number of conventions (once at GenCon in 1995) and I’ve been part of a couple of weekly meetings groups. I’ve also played with the same group of friends once every two weeks almost non-stop for the past 36 years. 

  2. A good example of what I consider gritty is Hackmaster, but then again the definition of gritty varies a lot. In a gritty RPGs, the rules are trying to simulate reality more closely, there are more game mechanics, and sometimes that makes the game more deadly for player characters (of course, non-gritty games can be deadly as well). 

  3. A good example of a more narrative style is Fate Core. In a narrative game there are usually less game mechanics and the focus is on a mutually created story between the gamemaster and the players. For example, if the player can convincingly describe something happening in the game, the GM usually will let it happen. 

  4. YMMV is an internet acronym for “Your Mileage May Vary”, meaning that your experience may differ from that expressed.