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Crossing Genres – Ep87

Some archetypes can cross over to any genre.

Who says that when you are creating a campaign or making a character for a game that you have to derive inspiration from sources within the same genre as the one that the game is set? There are many different avenues from which a good story or character can come from.


We talk about some of our favorite character and campaign ideas that can be adapted to any genre.


If you have some input on this, leave a comment here, via email or on our Facebook page.


Cast – Eric, Mike, Dan, Mark, Jayson and Shawn


Intro: Shawn

Outro: Dan


Listen Now on Stitcher


Listen Now on Spreaker


Items Mentioned:

Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Evil Dead, Dungeons & Dragons, Brisco County Jr., Renegade, DC Comics, GenCon, Corporia, Smallville, Arrow, Star Trek, Robin Hood, Les Miserables, Count of Monte Cristo, Three Musketeers, James Bond, Steven King, Valmont, Romeo and Juliet, Moby Dick, Caligula


  1. Barrett
    Barrett December 16, 2012

    Hey –

    Long time listener – first time caller. I wanted to begin by thanking you for offering such a casual atmosphere in your podcast – the sensation of sitting around a rickety table with good friends and a stack of care worn modules. Your show is a boost to those of us that have been forced to hang up our dice bags due to family obligations, careeers or lack of proximity to a viable gaming group. In appreciation of your continued efforts, I wanted to offer a few observations based on comments during your recent episode #87 (crossing genres):

    1. Toon was a reasonably popular rpg during the eighties and nineties that offered players the chance to use zany powers like cosmic shift and bottomless bags of gizmos. Placing an emphasis on infectious fun rather than leveling or even narrative (not unlike titles such as Paranoia or Tales from the Floating Vagabond), its core innovation was only forcing players to sit out for a few minutes if they ever ‘died’ during gameplay. Its more mature, darker cousin, HOL (Human Occupied Landfill by White Wolf’s Black Dog studio) also remains an exemplar legacy of Toon’s durable metrics.
    2. There seemed to be some confusion between Somewhere in Time (a romantic drama featuring Chris Reeve) and Time after Time (a time travel fantasy starring Caligula) – both, however, are B+ date movies.
    3. Remarkably enough, George Lucas attributed Akira Kurosowa’s Hidden Fortress for his innovative use of perspectival in media res durign Star Wars: A New Hope. Perhaps the most family friendly adaptation of Seven Samurai, though, has been Pixar’s A Bug’s Life – a blender of Aesop’s Ant and Grasshopper fable meets Kurosawa’s classic film.
    4. For more inspiration on genre crossovers, have you tried the TV Tropes wiki?


    P.S. DS9 owns Babylon 5 for free

    • Gamerstable
      Gamerstable December 16, 2012

      Thanks Barrett!

      Toon was one of those games that I saw many times but never actually played. If it was half as cool as you make it sound, that was a great mistake.

      As for our movie gaff, we totally danced around and botched that one. I remember both movies, but for some reason we couldn’t land on the right one. With our tendency for tangents and distractions, it is forbidden to use a smart phone during the recordings so that actually made things worse.

      We truly enjoy when listeners call us out on things. One of our tenets is that we want our conversations to sound natural (as possible) so pausing and reading from a IMDB to get things exactly right is not as much of a concern as keeping the conversations moving.

      Thank you for your comment and thank you so much for listening. Do not hesitate to chip in again.

  2. Todd
    Todd December 17, 2012

    First Contact is actually not the first use of Moby Dick as a theme in a Star Trek movie. One of the themes of Wrath of Kahn is Moby Dick reversed. Kirk is the whale that Kahn will throw away everything to get revenge on (complete with Kahn quoting the book on a couple occasions).

    • Gamerstable
      Gamerstable December 17, 2012

      Good one!

      As stated Hollywood borrows (or derives inspiration from) themes from classic literature more than general audiences realize. I think that it is because the familiar is easier to understand and accept more readily.

      Turning a theme around of using it from a different perspective is a good trick to keep the concept fresh (imo).

  3. Karl Keesler
    Karl Keesler December 17, 2012

    I recently discovered your podcast and I like it a lot. I like your insight, topics and length of your episodes (not too long). I especially liked this episode about Crossing Genres.

    On this episode someone mentioned playing a game where you take a bunch of iconic TV characters and role play them in a group together. I did that, I ran a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 2000’s at Gencon this year. The original idea came from the comic from Alan Moore called The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in it he merged a bunch of fictional characters into one world, characters like Mina Harker, Allan Quartermain, The Invisible Man and Dr. Jekyll.

    A few years ago, as an April Fool’s Day joke Top Shelf put out a fake comic book cover of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen America: 1988. It featured B. A. Baracus, Doc Brown, Lisa (Weird Science), MacGuyver and Jack Burton and a lot of cool past League members in paintings in the background. I thought the idea was fantastic and wanted that comic!

    Then I heard a few podcasts of actual play episodes that ran their version of that cover. I thought, “Brilliant! I want to do that!” So this year I did.

    I picked the 2000’s to start with and plucked characters and villains from that pop-culture time line (movies, TV, video games…all fair game). I also picked a “theme” and what was popular in the 2000’s (and to this day) but ZOMBIES, so my game was very zombie heavy with a sprinkling of Loveccraft and some humor.

    The characters were Beatrix Kiddo aka the Bride aka Black Mamba from Kill Bill, Cherry Darling from Planet Terror (Grindhouse), Columbus and Tallahassee from Zombieland, Elvis aka Sebastian Haff from the movie Bubba Ho-Tep starring Bruce Campbell, Lara Croft, Nacho Libre, Machete from the movie of the same name (I love this movie!) and Shaun Riley of Shaun of the Dead.

    The characters were brought together by Professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor), to stop Bill (from Kill Bill); he was back from the dead and had stolen the Necronomicon and the League had to stop him. During the game the had to fight zombies, Left for Dead “special” zombies like a Tank, a Boomer, a Jockey, etc, a giant undead version of Ramses from the movie Nacho Libre, Dr. Herebert West from the ReAnimator, Elle Driver from Kill Bill and a big nasty Cthulhu beast at the end.

    It was a really fun game with a cool theme that I plan on doing again at Gencon ’13 but in a different era like the ’90’s or the ’80’s. I even think I can run a small campaign at home based on this idea. I made a document with minor rules/guidelines that I would be comfortable running with stuff like no villains, no superheroes, etc and ran it by my players and they were down with it.

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