rFantasy adventures, sci-fi exploits, and modern mysteries are all common genres for tabletop roleplaying games to explore. Since the beginning of the hobby, pulp genres have been incredibly popular. But as time goes on, plenty of other types of stories have been used as inspiration for TTRPGs.
Today, it’s easy to find romance games, slice-of-life games, horror games, and even games about sports. Sports TTRPGs range from bombastic, over-the-top action games to somber tales about individual athletes. Anyone looking to play through a sports storyline with their RPG group has a wealth of options to choose from.
10 Love By The Quarter-Mile By Mark Meredith Cares About Family
Love by the Quarter-Mile is a super rules-light game that follows the high octane life of street racers. Its influences are clear, as each character in Love by the Quarter-Mile has three stats: Fast, Furious, and Family. Players assign their stats and roll dice against each other and the GM, or Gear Master, to argue, fight, and of course race. Love by the Quarter-Mile is just one page long, so it’s incredibly easy to learn, and it costs just $1.
9 Full Court By Caro Asercion Is Fast-Paced And High Scoring
Lots of modern RPGs include a shortlist of touchstones, the pieces of media that inspired the game and serve as a good marker of tone. Full Court lists as its first touchstone a 1992 Men’s NCAA basketball game between Troy State and DeVry University. The game is played in four quarters, plus warmups, halftime, and a postgame. The quarters are played in real-time, ten minutes each, and players use a specialized deck of cards to answer questions and tell the story of “the game, your teammates, and your dreams.”
8 Varsity By Rosemary McLean Is About The Highs And Lows Of Sports Anime
This Powered by the Apocalypse game seeks to emulate the intense drama of sports anime. Varsity features a host of moves to use during the match, from the expected teamwork and offense moves to offering color commentary or calling a time-out.
It also features mechanics to track a character’s life off the court, including their relationship with their family and their responsibilities at work or school. Classic archetypes of the genre are present in Varsity’s playbooks, which include “The Delinquent,” “The Powerhouse,” and “The Determined.”
7 Get Your Game On! By ThatAceGal Puts Card Games Centerstage
Get Your Game On! isn’t really about a real sport, but it certainly matches the feeling of a sport’s drama. It takes place in a world where card games are central to the way the world works. Big tournaments dominate the media landscape and characters attend a card game academy to duel rivals and make new friends. Play takes place in a variety of mini-games, such as “A One On One Duel,” “New Cards At The Shop!,” and “Wait? EXAMS ARE TODAY!?”
6 Final Lap By Nicolas “Gulix” Ronvel Is All About The Championship
Based on the same structure as For The Queen, this game tells the story of a racing league in their final championship. Players work together to create The Champion, the favorite to win the race and a looming figure.
Final Lap features several different potential settings, including The Fastest Streets for illegal street racing, Metal Winds for post-war airplane races, and Fast Summer for children racing in customized soapbox cars.
5 My Way By ThatAceGal Is A Solo Wrestler’s Story
My Way is a solo RPG from the same designer who wrote Get Your Game On!. It has the player telling the story of a professional wrestler in the twilight years of their career. A table of events, generated by drawing from a deck of playing cards, guides the player through their last-ditch attempt at the title belt, hoping desperately that they can get there before their body gives out. This is represented mechanically by a pool of 100D6s. Each time something dramatic happens, the player rolls all their dice and removes all ones. When they run out of dice, they’re out.
4 Beast Dream By Zargo Games Is About Monster-Taming Competitors
In another great example of fantastical sports, Beast Dreams is a game about handlers who go on fantastical adventures alongside mystical beasts. Pokémon fans should find the structure of this game familiar, as every beast features a combination of elemental types, strengths, and weaknesses. Beast Dreams includes guidelines for creating a brand new setting, or Dream, and includes a setting called The Commonwealth, inspired by the state of Kentucky.
3 Rod, Reel, and Fist By Richard Kelly Sends Players On A Fishing Adventure
Rod, Reel, & Fist has players take on the roles of heroic anglers attempting to save their communities by setting off into “the Old Region” in pursuit of the Fish of Legend. It features robust systems for character creation, fish combat, animal combat, and exploration.
Rod, Reel, & Fist places an emphasis on low-lethality, with failure generally resulting in setbacks rather than injury or death. The “Fishtiary” section of the nearly 300-page long book features dozens of fish to encounter, each complete with habitats, stats, and special rules.
2 Sports Are Just Numerology By Ben Roswell Tells A Story In Numbers
This single-page game for two players is quite simple, but it offers the opportunity for some amazing sports storytelling. In Sports Are Just Numerology, players take turns generating random numbers and assigning them some kind of importance to fill in the story of two sports stars. A number might be the date of their first match, the high score of a winning game, or a batting average. It is a great example of how a game can be exceptionally satisfying with very few rules.
1 World Wide Wrestling By Nathan D. Paoletta Is The Definitive Wrestling RPG
The world of professional wrestling takes center stage in World Wide Wrestling. Players each create a wrestler and guide them through the story of their career. One player takes on the role of Creative, or the GM. When they enter a match, any players not booked can become Announcers offering color commentary on the fight. It follows both the fictional story of the wrestlers as well as the story of the athletes behind them as they deal with behind-the-scenes politics.
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