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Software Rendered Particles
You have to have a light in the scene; you have to apply a material to the particles.

Blobby - Called metaballs - is attracted to meld with nearby particles
      Radius - size of sphere
      Threshold - how attracted it is to the nearby particles;
            1 = maximum attraction; 0 = none
      May need to increase Radius as you increase Threshold

Clouds - Already has the defaultParticle Shader attached, also a metaball
      Better Illumination - increases self shadowing
      Radius - size
      Surface Shading - 0 = cloudier effect; 1 = more distinct clouds
      Threshold - how much they melt together

Tube - can be tapered, must have a volumetric shader like particle cloud on it.
      Radius0 - starting radius
      Radius1 - end radius
      Tail Size - length of tube (is multiplied by velocity) faster = longer tail

Rendering Tip: To render without particles, select particles -> Attribute Editor under Render
Stats: Turn Primary Visibility OFF

Lighting Tip: Cloud, Tube, and Blobby need lights in the scene. Point, Multipoint, Streak, and Multistreak can also use the lights in a scene - all others do not.