Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sport-Based RPGs

It was with no small amount of interest I read Clash Bowley’s description of the baseball RPG he’s working on. Baseball + Role Playing Games might seem like a strange mix, but when you consider some of the indie RPGs we’ve seen in the past few years and their subject matter, baseball seems downright normal. Clash’s games sound like it will allow you to simulate games, seasons, and more, as well as roleplay your character in the clubhouse and around the team. Sure, this may end up being a niche, niche RPG if it happens, but I think it sounds like a lot of fun.

I’ve mentioned on here a few times that I’d love to make a racing (especially IZOD IndyCar)RPG, complete with racing rules, driver stats, on and off-track fights, etc. There seem to be precious few sports RPGs on the market, but when you think of modern athletes as our gladiators, it makes a bit more sense. Sports are such a huge battery of emotional energy for so many people, I think it’d be possible to create a campaign that would really speak to people.

I realize this goes against the grain of us RPG geeks as pasty nerds who never went outside, but I know there’s sports fans out there. Could a hockey RPG work? If Clash can do one for baseball, what about football (American or otherwise)?


A.L. said...

This is actually something I've been mulling over in my head for a while now. How to properly do the mechanics for each of the games, while keeping them simple enough to be fun.

While I didn't go into much depth, I think I posted about it on Thanksgiving day to coincide with all the football games going on.

Link is here for anyone looking for more discussion on the topic:

mksiebler said...

Funny you should bring this up today. Just last night at the ol' game store we found a copy of a Tennis RPG buried on the shelves. From the AH-style bookcase game appearance it looked like it was from the 1980's!

Keizo said...


I love your site, It is a pleasure to visit.

I have added your site to my site.

Please link my site to your site.

Thank you!

Ameron said...

Check out Pursue the Pennant. It is probably a good starting point for anyone looking to make a Baseball RPG.

Jared Sorensen said...

There's a Sorcerer micro-supplement about golf. Yup, golf. It's online somewhere.

mxyzplk said...

Oh, interesting, I've been doing a series on my blog on "RPGs as Sports." this is more
"Sports as RPGs" but close enough!

And yeah, with how much time and effort people spend on fantasy football - that's just over the line from RPGs isn't it?

Emmett said...

mksiebler hit it on the head, back in the 80's and 90's there were sports RPGs. I specifically remember looking at a basketball RPG and thinking "Why would I buy that?". They did horribly, probably because most gamers were young geeks that had an aversion to sports and anyone that was interested in sports wouldn't touch an RPG with a ten foot pole. Geek culture may have changed that dynamic in the ensuing years. I'd say it'll probably have a small part time following, which is probably what the author would hope for.

Andreas Davour said...


Well, Contenders is about boxing, so why not?

clash bowley said...

I'm not even dreaming that this will be popular. I'm doing it because I have always wanted to do it. It's number two I can check off from my "bucket list" - number one was In Harm's Way: Napoleonic Naval - of RPGs I want to design before I die, and I'm *really* old. :D

There are boxing and wrestling RPGs, so why not baseball? I have an unholy love for the game - as much as I have for RPGs - and I couldn't bear for someone else to write it first!

It's almost to beta release now. It's all come out much faster than I anticipated - IHW:NN was the same. I think I've been working on it in the back of my brain for many years, and it's just getting info-dumped.


clash bowley said...

Oh! If any of you're interested in what I am doing, I've been posting about it on my blog since I decided to take the plunge three weeks ago.

That's the first post. Many more follow... :D