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  1. drunkonduty's link above is fantastic (for me). As have been all the answers so far, to be sure. But that link, with the 5 or 6 viewpoints/essays given, really helps crystallize what I was wanting to know vis a vis worldbuilding and the comparison between fantasy and superheroes. I was of a mind that I wanted to create a world(s)/campaign that had superpowers but not have it be focused on superheroes, while at the same time not excluding them. I also wanted to have elements of urban fantasy. This discussion has helped me see that I probably do want to go with fantasy and incorporate my other elements into it, if I can (and discarding stuff that ultimately just won't plausibly fit). My reluctance to embrace fantasy is probably most strongly influenced by my own relatively shallow direct experience with it. Excellent food for thought all around.
  2. Being the first and largest genre of the roleplaying world, being easier to set up (as stated above--I like that factor, which hadn't been proposed before, and yet makes sense), and something that only just occurred to me (but which may not be a factor) -- there's the stigma of comic books and superheroes still being something 'for kids' and perhaps looked down upon. Sure, you've got the superhero movies of the last several years that increased superhero popularity and visibility, but there's still decades of that other perception to overcome. Despite their rise in popular culture, there are still large swaths of the population that look down on superheroes (and yet don't mind fantasy?).
  3. Excellent replies! I've been especially pleased with the reviews of history. Although I knew some snippets of some of it, it's great to hear expanded versions. Learning is fun! I'm scratching my head a little at the assertions that fantasy is more black and white than superheroes. Superheroes=good/white, and supervillains=bad/black. The exact same can be said about the fantasy genre: our heroes (the adventurers) = good/white, while monsters/enemies = bad/black. It seems like a subjective thing. I do NOT want to drag this discussion towards politics, but is it possible, keeping the history from above replies in mind, that superheroes are leaning (in general) more towards upholding authority (not authoritarianism, if the two subjects can be split), whereas adventuring in a fantasy world is more 'go your own way, do whatever you like.' One flavor of superhero worlds is that superheroes almost get locked into an obligation to use their powers to help people, kinda like a full-time, 'round-the-clock, never-ending treadmill of a job. ("Where were you when my house was burning down?"/"Why didn't you stop that runaway train?"/"What good are you when my neighborhood is still full of drugs?") Who wants that kind of negative consequence when they're tryna play a game and escape from their lives for a bit? Of course, no game has to go that way, but I offer this as one possible reason why folks might pick fantasy over superheroes. Then there's the ability to change the world, or at least their little slice of it. Fantasy adventurers seem to do this on the regular, although I'm speaking as a person on the outside of that. Superheroes, again, are about maintaining the status quo. Despite all the fantastic powers, machines, etc., our world doesn't really change. So...it's almost down to the superpowered fight, with big, splashy, showy powers making an awesome visual (kudos to Killer Shrike pointing out the differences between novel and comic book readers--fascinating viewpoint), and everything else is maybe kinda bolted on (romance, sleuthing, etc.). Again, I'm loving what you all have to say, but it may come down to 'that's the way it is' with no forecast for that ever really changing. This was all predicated by my contemplating the beginning of more concrete construction for a gameworld I've been thinking about. Spending a goodly amount of time to craft an online world for others to play in, with one flavor attracting maybe hundreds of players, and another maybe attracting only a couple dozen players...yeesh. Goes back to my motivation, and what I think I really want to do. In the end, that's the most important thing, even if I turn out to have 'wasted my time'--it's what I will have wanted to do.
  4. Being more a fan of the superhero genre, I've often wondered at the general (roleplaying) public's seeming preference for the sword & sorcery genre. I base my theory on the huge amount of fantasy rpgs out there, although superheroes have quite a few. I also look at the number of superhero MMOs as opposed to fantasy-based games. I have a working theory, which I'd like to open up for discussion. Superheroes are about Protecting the Status Quo, Upholding The Law, Opposing Evil, Black & White (all of this is of course my opinion, and is way simplified as well). All of this is done in a world close to our own. Fantasy is about Adventuring, and all that might entail, in a world different from our own. The magic, the monsters, the treasure. Arguably more of an escape. Some of it might have to do with D&D being the most popular game, as well as arguably (I keep using that word--I hope I know what it means) the first roleplaying game. I could just be talking out of my hat, but it occurs to me that superheroes are 'obligated' to keep Things As They Are afloat, while players in a fantasy game venture out and do almost anything they like in a world full of mystery. Why do you think that fantasy is a more popular genre?
  5. Is the link for this site still the one in the original post, or is there another link now?
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