Impending WISH deficit! But this week:
Pick three to five genres and name the best RPG for that genre. Why do you think it’s the best? What makes it better than others? What are its downsides?
Pulp: Adventure! This is a very close race, because Feng Shui has better core mechanics which are better suited to the genre. Feng Shui really gets damage and fighting and stunts right, which is important for a pulp game… but it’s an action movie game rather than a pulp game, and while the genres are similar they aren’t the same. So the detailed and comprehensive power list brings Adventure! ahead by a hair.
Action Movies: Feng Shui. That’s a freebie. Feng Shui is a really significant milestone for genre-specific rules and it’s aged (and evolved) well.
TV Adventure: Unisystem Lite, as presented in Buffy and Angel. I was watching some Alias last night and marvelling at how well Unisystem Lite would work for a campaign in that setting. You could use it for Xena. The key is a) how quickly play flows — quickly enough to make play-by-IRC viable for me, and I don’t usually like play-by-IRC — and b) the clever use of Drama Points to channel themes. It is amazing how much better Unisystem became when all the excess crap was carved away.
Conspiracy: Over the Edge. Ginger said best RPG, not best rules! Over the Edge is mostly setting, with a nice minimalistic functional set of mechanics. At first glance it’s not obvious how the mechanics support the wild surrealistic genre, but I think the pioneering lack of a skill list is absolutely perfect for the world of Al Amarja; it makes it clear how open the setting really is. And the GMing advice is superb.