There are A LOT of ridiculous weapons out there. You’ve got battle ladders, boxing glove arrows, buster swords, the Klingon Bat’leth, and pretty much everything that appears on this page. Of course, if you’ll just take a moment to quell your inner middle schooler, I think we can all admit that these things are a bit silly. If one of these weapons can provide even a slight mechanical bonus though, I’ll be the first in line to toss away my fathers’s heirloom rapier and go to town with a chainsaw lightsaber.

Beyond the question of weapons though, I think there’s a broader issue here of mixing genres. If you’re trying to run Tolkien style fantasy and Johnny the weaboo insists on bringing his katana, you’re well on the road to intraparty conflict. Sure you can just “reflavor” it as a long sword or whatever, but Johnny doesn’t want 1d8 damage and a good crit range. He wants to wield the best sword that the world has ever seen, thrice as sharp as European swords and capable of  bisecting a knight wearing etc. etc.  He has a fundamentally different view of what kind of game you’re playing, and the words “setting appropriate” don’t really enter in.

I make fun, but my taste runs closer to Johnny’s that I might like to admit. I dig the sci-fi/fantasy mashup that is Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. I like games with premises like Cthulhu Meets the Muppets! I even like the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach of Rifts. If you can let go of your internal censor and admit that yeah, maybe buster swords are a little bit cool, then it’s suddenly possible to enjoy ridiculous weapons and oddball plot additions as the OMG awesome things that they’re supposed to be. It may not be “serious world building,” but for my money it’s a whole lot of imaginary fun. And the best part? The other guy at the table gets to see his ideas included.

Question of the day then: Where do you come down on mixing genres? Are you willing to work ninjas into your old west game, or would you rather keep the different parts of Lego Land walled off?


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