ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – August 2014

Time to check in on ENWorld’s chart of the “hottest RPGs”. As usual, remember that RPGs are scored on the chart based on what’s being actively discussed on as wide a pool of internet fora and blogs as they can find RSS feeds for. It isn’t 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). Note that I’m presenting here the scores assigned to each game, not the percentages.

RANK	GAME					SCORE
1	D&D 5th Edition				896
2	Pathfinder RPG				138
3	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			105
4	D&D 4th Edition				 47
5	13th Age				 31
6	Old School Revival (OSR)		 22
7	AD&D 2nd Edition			 15
7	Shadowrun				 15
9	Savage Worlds				  9
10	AD&D 1st Edition			  8
10	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  8
10	FATE					  8
13	World of Darkness			  7
14	Star Wars: Edge of the Empire		  5
14	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			  5
16	OD&D					  4
17	The One Ring				  3
17	Warhammer FRP				  3
17	Traveller				  3
17	Numenera				  3
21	Colonial Gothic				  2
21	Dungeon World				  2
21	Runequest				  2
21	Call of Cthulhu				  2
21	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			  2
21	Other Superhero RPGs			  2
27	A Song of Ice & Fire			  1
27	Hackmaster				  1
27	d20 Modern				  1
27	The Strange				  1
27	Star Trek				  1
27	Exalted					  1
27	Dread					  1
27	RIFTS					  1
27	GURPS					  1
27	Ars Magica				  1
27	Dungeon Crawl Classics			  1
27	Warhammer 40K				  1
27	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	  1
27	Paranoia				  1
41	Ashen Stars				  0
41	Aberrant				  0
41	Brave New World				  0
41	Apocalypse World			  0
41	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		  0
41	Silver Age Sentinels			  0
41	Rotted Capes				  0
41	Smallville				  0
41	TMNT					  0
41	Villians & Vigilantes			  0
41	Alternity				  0
41	Marvel Super Heroes			  0
41	HERO System / Champions			  0
41	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	  0
41	ICONS					  0
41	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		  0
41	Marvel SAGA				  0
41	DC Heroes				  0
41	d20 Future				  0
41	Firefly					  0
41	Gamma World				  0
41	Gumshoe					  0
41	Feng Shui				  0
41	Dragon Age				  0
41	Earthdawn				  0
41	Eclipse Phase				  0
41	Fading Suns				  0
41	Hobomancer				  0
41	Iron Kingdoms				  0
41	CORTEX System				  0
41	Castles & Crusades			  0
41	Chainmail				  0
41	True20					  0
41	Stars Without Number			  0
41	Mutant Chronicles			  0
41	Deadlands				  0
41	Star Wars (d6)				  0
41	BESM					  0
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				DNC
--	Stage					DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

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. Games which did not chart presumably either failed to even yield a statistically significant sample or have had their categories retired from the chart (as appears to be the case with the redundant Dnd/Pathfinder category).

Here’s a quick chart of what’s moved and how far it’s moved:

RANK	GAME					CHANGE
1	D&D 5th Edition				  =
2	Pathfinder RPG				  =
3	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			  =
4	D&D 4th Edition				  =
5	13th Age				 +1
6	Old School Revival (OSR)		 -1
7	AD&D 2nd Edition			 +4
7	Shadowrun				 +1
9	Savage Worlds				 -2
10	AD&D 1st Edition			 +1
10	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	 -1
10	FATE					  =
13	World of Darkness			 +1
14	Star Wars: Edge of the Empire		 +1
14	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			 -1
16	OD&D					 +6
17	The One Ring				 +5
17	Warhammer FRP				 +2
17	Traveller				 +5
17	Numenera				 -2
21	Colonial Gothic				 +1
21	Dungeon World				 -6
21	Runequest				 +1
21	Call of Cthulhu				 +7
21	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			 +7
21	Other Superhero RPGs			 +7
27	A Song of Ice & Fire			+11
27	Hackmaster				 +1
27	d20 Modern				 -8
27	The Strange				+11
27	Star Trek				 +1
27	Exalted					+11
27	Dread					+11
27	RIFTS					 +1
27	GURPS					-12
27	Ars Magica				+11
27	Dungeon Crawl Classics			 -5
27	Warhammer 40K				+11
27	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	 +1
27	Paranoia				 +1
41	Ashen Stars				 -3
41	Aberrant				 -3
41	Brave New World				 -3
41	Apocalypse World			 -3
41	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		 -3
41	Silver Age Sentinels			 -3
41	Rotted Capes				-13
41	Smallville				 -3
41	TMNT					 -3
41	Villians & Vigilantes			 -3
41	Alternity				 -3
41	Marvel Super Heroes			 -3
41	HERO System / Champions			 -3
41	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	 -3
41	ICONS					 -3
41	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		 -3
41	Marvel SAGA				 -3
41	DC Heroes				 -3
41	d20 Future				 -3
41	Firefly					-13
41	Gamma World				 -3
41	Gumshoe					 -3
41	Feng Shui				 -3
41	Dragon Age				 -3
41	Earthdawn				 -3
41	Eclipse Phase				 -3
41	Fading Suns				 -3
41	Hobomancer				 -3
41	Iron Kingdoms				 -3
41	CORTEX System				 -3
41	Castles & Crusades			-22
41	Chainmail				 -3
41	True20					 -3
41	Stars Without Number			 -3
41	Mutant Chronicles			 -3
41	Deadlands				 -3
41	Star Wars (d6)				 -3
41	BESM					 -3
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				DNC
--	Stage					DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

The shifts in rank are, except at the very top, mostly meaningless; outside of the top 8 nobody’s score is even in double figures. This is, once again, thanks to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition absolutely dominating the conversation online at the moment. To put things in context:

  • Both Godlike/Wild Talents and Stars Without Number had Bundle of Holding offers during the period scores were collected for the above charts, but this didn’t stimulate conversation about those games enough to even register a single point.
  • D&D 5E nearly doubled its score since June, when it was already scoring about 4 times as much as Pathfinder. So even though Pathfinder‘s score went up by 8 points, it didn’t really help Pathfinder in the grand scheme of things because the gulf between the two has only widened.
  • Proportionally speaking, nearly two-thirds of all RPG conversation tracked by ENWorld’s algorithm involved D&D 5E. Other D&D editions and variants seem to have had a little bump too, thanks presumably to people discussing how 5E compares to them.
  • Shadowrun tops the list of non-D&D variants (if you ignore ENWorld’s weird habit of listing 13th Age as both a D&D variant and a non-D&D variant and just take it as the D&D 4E variant it was explicitly designed as) for the first time since I started tracking this stuff; Savage Worlds topped that list last time. Interestingly, prior to the explosion of 5E discussion, FATE was quite solidly ensconced as the most discussed non-D&D RPG, both in terms of consistently appearing at that position on the charts and in terms of having a healthy gap between it and whatever the next-most discussed non-D&D RPG was that month. Could D&D 5E be positioned to put an end to the FATE boom? It’s entirely too soon to say, though notably the inclusion of such game mechanical elements as bonds and flaws, and in particular the way they tie into 5E‘s Inspiration mechanic, seems to be influenced by games such as FATE, and a D&D which allows more narratively-inclined players into the Big Tent could be in a position to poach a chunk of audience from FATE. (Mike Mearls has specifically talked about providing optional rules for supporting more narratively-oriented play as an aim of the design team – whether such rules will be in the Dungeon Master’s Guide or some later supplement, we’ll have to see.)

In short, though, there’s not much that can be said at this time beyond the fact that D&D is quite emphatically, and more so than it has been for a good long while, the game: even if you aren’t playing it, odds are that if you’re taking part in the wider conversation at all you’ve been exposed to discussion about it.

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One thought on “ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – August 2014

  1. Pingback: ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – October 2014 « Refereeing and Reflection

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