A Stony Sleep, A Shaky Ending

It had been about half a year, which meant it was time for us to Fist again (like we did last summer). Having run an interim adventure so that the player characters were actually of a level appropriate to the campaign, I ran the gang though the next episode of The Emperor Protects, entitled A Stony Sleep. Session logs are up here, Dan’s thoughts are here and here, Shimmin’s thoughts are here, here and here, my thoughts are immediately below. (Spoilers ahead.)

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Referee’s Bookshelf: OSR Periodicals

Thanks to a recent Lulu sale, I finally decided to dip my toe into the impressively wide range of OSR periodicals available on the site. The fanzine instinct was strong in the early RPG hobby – in particular, as Playing at the World illustrates the pages of Alarums & Excursions were a crucial hotbed of early discussion – and so it’s only appropriate that as part of the effort to explore lost and neglected modes of play and engagement with the hobby that a range of OSR fanzines would pop up. Interested in dipping my toe into them, I picked up compilations of the first issues of three of these publications.

The grandaddy of them all is Fight On!, which first emerged in 2008. Edited in a bare-bones manner by the pseudonymous Ignatius Umlaut, the pages of its first compilation are absolutely stuffed with gameable content. Although all major retro-clones (and thus, all TSR editions of Dungeons & Dragons) are covered, it even slips those bounds a little, offering (with the blessing of their respective creators) material for Arduin, Mutant Future and the original Empire of the Petal Throne.

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ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – January 2014

So last month I made a post about ENWorld’s chart of the “hottest RPGs” – hotness, in this case, being based on what’s being actively discussed on as wide a pool of internet fora and blogs as they can find RSS feeds for. So it’s not tracking sales, and it isn’t even tracking popularity (because conceivably a game could get onto the chart if there were a sufficiently virulent negative reaction to it).

It’s an interesting chart, but I found it to be a little difficult to interpret it, because the percentages presented and the way D&D and D&D-derived RPGs are segregated from the rest mask the actual absolute scores, so I’ve started an experiment in compiling the absolute scores here month-by-month to see if any trends are revealed. So, here goes for January.

RANK	GAME					SCORE
1	D&D Next (5E)				2906.5
2	Pathfinder RPG				1968.6
3	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			1248.1
4	D&D 4th Edition				 608.3
5	FATE					 219.9
6	Old School Revival (OSR)		 159
7	World of Darkness			 152.2
8	Numenera				 128.1
9	13th Age				 126.7
10	Savage Worlds				  81
11	OD&D					  75.9
12	Shadowrun				  66.6
13	AD&D 1st Edition			  49.8
14	Exalted					  49.4
15	AD&D 2nd Edition			  47.7
16	Warhammer 40K				  44.2
17	Traveller				  39.2
18	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			  38.8
19	Call of Cthulhu				  31.5
20	Dungeon World				  30.9
21	GURPS					  30.4
22	Gumshoe					  30.2
23	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  28.9
24	Star Wars: Edge of the Empire		  25.6
25	CORTEX System				  19.5
26	Stars Without Number			  18.2
26	Eclipse Phase				  18.2
28	d20 Modern				  17.5
29	Warhammer FRP				  17.1
29	The One Ring				  17.1
31	ICONS					  16.9
32	The Strange				  14.2
33	Castles & Crusades			  13.3
34	Dragon Age				  13.1
35	Deadlands				  13
36	Dread					  12.3
37	Star Trek				  10.3
38	Dungeon Crawl Classics			   9.7
39	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	   9.4
40	d20 Future				   7.9
41	Gamma World				   7.8
42	True20					   7.7
43	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		   6.8
44	RIFTS					   6.5
44	Iron Kingdoms				   6.5
44	Ars Magica				   6.5
44	Alternity				   6.5
48	Hackmaster				   5.7
49	Feng Shui				   5.2
50	Apocalypse World			   3.9
50	Rotted Capes				   3.9
50	HERO System / Champions			   3.9
50	BESM					   3.9
50	Mutant Chronicles			   3.9
50	A Song of Ice & Fire			   3.9
56	Earthdawn				   2.6
56	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	   2.6
56	Brave New World				   2.6
56	Firefly					   2.6
56	Smallville				   2.6
61	Marvel SAGA				   1.3
61	Star Wars (d6)				   1.3
61	Fading Suns				   1.3
61	Aberrant				   1.3
61	DC Heroes				   1.3
66	Runequest				   0
66	Paranoia				   0

Note that according to the chart page a 0 score doesn’t mean nobody’s mentioned a particular game –  a statistically significant sample has shown up but no more than that. For sanity’s sake I’m only tracking zero-scores which previously scored.

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