Gamma World is a post-apocalyptic game set in an alternate reality where mutations are the norm and resources are scarce. Character generation should only take 5-10 minutes as everything is either completely random or pre-generated. Your ‘race’ is determined by a primary and secondary mutation combination. This means you will be playing an Android Cockroach Swarm or Yeti Plant. You only start with two powers so the book keeping is really simple.
The Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game is set in the world of H. P. Lovecraft and places the characters in direct confrontation with the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. Most commonly the setting is in the 1920′s although earlier and later settings are covered by the rules. The game is somewhat unique in that the ‘heros’ are not particularly special. They are usually everyday people who happen to be caught up in things. The games are also often very focused on an investigation of some occurence, or some great evil. Investigators (as the heros are called in the game) are often called upon to uncover the evil machinations of dark cults, or the malevolent workings of deranged madmen.
The setting for VtM is one of a dark gothic near future where Vampires live in communities, often fighting over resources and power. Humans are treated with a mixture of contempt, need for control, as food and often with envy. A powerful theme throughout the game is the loss of humanity. The more you act like a Vampire, the less human you will be, and thus, the less control you will have over yourself. In the end the setting is very rich, with the sourcebooks being well written enough to be read cover to cover.
Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS is a game by Steve Jackson Games. Originally released in 1986 it stood out from most other games that it was contemporary too for two main reasons – it used a point system for creating characters, and the system was completely generic. The core rules behind GURPS are designed to be completely setting agnostic. This has proven to be one of its great strengths. Many, many, many setting books have been published over the years for GURPS, including standards such as Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, etc, but also for existing systems. For example, a source book has been released for both Vampire: The Masquerade and Call of Cthulhu.
The first edition of Rolemaster was released in the early 1980′s and quickly established itself as one of the major roleplaying games available. The system employs an open ended d100 roll for almost all checks. This was quite rare when it was first released as most games at that time tried to include everyone of the standard polyhedral set at least once. The tables used in the combat resolution are frequently humorous and add a lot to the game.