We all know that roleplaying is famous for fantasy games of battling it out with monsters, levelling up, and collecting loot. But that’s not the only kind of RPG you can play. There’s romance, adventure, and even the chance to built your own world.
In this article, we share five tabletop roleplaying games we love that aren’t about combat.
Roleplaying games can be about more than you think. From WWW, to Jane Austen, to coming of age stories, here are some of our favourites.
By Avery Alder
Monsterhearts is a fantastic and fantastical game about supernatural teenagers dealing with school, puberty, and each other.
This game takes high school drama (which is already fun to roleplay), and adds a whole new level of magic, horror and drama. Playing this game feels like Buffy crossed with Puberty Blues and I am all about it. You can play all the Twilight classics such as a Vampire, Werewolf and Witch, along with many other extraordinary choices.
Despite its supernatural elements, ultimately this game revolves around coming of age and the difficulties of growing up. It’s about how monstrous we feel as we change and grow in our teenage years and realise the many ways in which we don’t fit in.
Good Society: A Jane Austen RPG
By Storybrewers Roleplaying
Good Society is exactly what the title implies. It lets you create Austen style stories with your friends about romance, scandal, and trying to marry the richest single individual in town.
You play regency gentry, contenting with struggles of duty, desire, and obligation. To capture the Austen feel, the game works in phases, from novel phases such as balls and picnics, to rumour and scandal, reputation, and even a phase for writing letters.
World Wide Wrestling
By Nathan D. Paoletta
If you thought Jane Austen was an oddly specific theme for a roleplaying game, I’m excited to tell you there is an entire TTRPG that is just about wrestling.
Of course, the game has mechanics for spectacular moves in the ring (as well as audience reaction!), but it’s not just about that. It’s also about what you do when you’re not in the ring – managing your career, your relationships, and the inevitable backstage drama.
If you love wrestling this one is a no brainer, but even if you don’t the game is still a fun, melodramatic, and exciting experience of clashing personalities and showmanship.
Golden Sky Stories
By Ryo Kamiya, Tsugihagi Honpo and Ewen Cluney
Golden Sky Stories is a bucket load of cute and happy feels transformed into an RPG. This game, originally from Japan, has players take on the role of magical shape-shifting animals called henge.
As if this wasn’t adorable enough from the outset, the goal of the game is to make use of your powers to solve problems around a small town with by working together, being creative, and yes, using the power of friendship. Help! Cuteness overload!
Personally I find this game holds appeal for both kids and adults, so it’s a great one to play with the family while making sure no one gets bored.
By Jason Morningstar
Winterhorn is an extremely unique game. It’s a real time, live action game where you play law enforcement and intelligence operatives working to derail “dangerous” activist groups.
The game revolves around 12 programs, techniques that governments use to disrupt activist groups, which as intelligence operatives, you choose from during play. As well as a live action roleplaying game, it also has the feel of a co-op strategy card game, as you see the results of your decisions during the game. It is a powerful game that shows that RPGs don’t need combat to be hard hitting.
Need help picking a game? Comment below or tweet at us @rpgbookshelf and we’d be glad to recommend something especially for you!