1 – Genre

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Choosing Your Genre

The first thing you will want to decide on is genre of play since each genre has its own setting assumptions, benefits, limitations, and sort of stories and play style that it caters too. You and your group will have your preferences to pick from. Some genres will cater better to the stories you want to tell better than others.

If you are really looking to challenge yourself you could also do a genre bend and tell a story in a genre that it is not really fit for, such as: telling an epic fantasy story in a hardcore science fiction setting – tell a Lord of the Rings story inside the Expanse universe; or tell a western story in a Victorian urban steampunk setting – imagine gunslingers out for vengeance and shootouts in a Victorian steampunk Europe!

Examples:

  • interstellar science fantasy (Star Wars)
  • interstellar science fiction (Star Trek, Alternity)
  • interplanetary hard-core science fiction (The Expanse)
  • epic fantasy (Lord of the Rings)
  • fantasy (Dungeons and Dragons)
  • pulp fantasy magi-punk (Eberron)
  • urban fantasy (The Magicians, Dresden Files, Twilight)
  • urban horror (Cthulu)
  • victorian urban steampunk (Red Steel)
  • pulp fantasy steampunk (Eberron)
  • contemporary military action/adventure (Rogue Spear)
  • supernatural mystery (X-Files, Dark Matter)

… and so many more options. Please forgive my limited example genres. You can see my genre biases showing. If you are looking for more genre inspiration then take a moment to check out the Writing Genres @ Wikipedia.

Once you have your genre selected you will have the tools it provides to help guide your next phase. If you have a movie or book which is the specific example of what specific setting you are looking to play in then you may want to note that too so that everyone knows and can reference it if they like.

Fatesville Gaming Group

After they decided to play Fate for the first time, the group discussed what genre or setting they would like to play in. They discussed several settings like Shadowrun, Weird Wars II, and a fantasy setting. In the end, they decided to go back to fantasy, because they usually switched between Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) and Star Wars, so a D&D sort of fantasy game through the Fate Core System sounded like fun way to test the system. It was a genre they were intimately familiar with and it would give them that much needed break from a long science fiction campaign.


Tess already had the Fate core book open to the part that was walking them through the campaign creation process and was trying to guide the conversation constructively. Once the decision was made to play fantasy, and because she loved fantasy settings, she offered to run the game. Everyone was a bit shocked at her offer because she had never run a game for them, even though, in her spare time, she had spent countless hours attempting to plan campaigns. Dan shrugged his shoulders and said “Sure. I can finally play for once.” George, having already drifted off, daydreamed about that new computer game that just came out ‘ Time Guardians IV – Warriors of the Black Sands‘ while he looked out the window at a squirrel which was climbing around the tree trying to avoid the neighbor’s hunting dog.