5E Monster Manual: The Best of All Possible Worlds

I got the 5th Edition Monster Manual a while back but it took me a fair bit to do a review, simply because it made me want to do something I rarely find myself wanting to do with monster collections: read the dang thing from cover to cover.

The way it did this really quite simple: it presents a bunch of monsters in such a way that you simultaneously love reading about them and really want to feature them in a game.

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Referee’s Bookshelf: Faith & Flame – The Provençal Tribunal

So, I kicked off my Ars Magica campaign recently, and for this first clutch of sessions the main aim has been to establish the magi characters and their Covenant and give it a geographical and historical context within Mythic Europe. The players decided to locate their Covenant in the Provençal Tribunal, because in the default 5th Edition start date of 1220 you’re at an interesting point in the Albigensian Crusade where the first burst of the Crusade has petered out and the Cathars and Count of Toulouse have made something of a comeback and it could conceivably go either way from here.

As luck would have it, Atlas Games recently put out Faith & Flame, the Tribunal sourcebook for Provençal, so that’s been the supplement I’ve been primarily using to run the campaign at this point.

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ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – October 2014

So, for a while after my last ENWorld-related post, not much of interest has been happening with ENWorld’s chart of hot RPGs beyond D&D 5th Edition‘s score getting more and more outrageous over time – I swear I saw it hit over 2000 a while back – but on my latest check-in I’ve seen some downright interesting developments which made me think maybe it’s time we did another one of these.

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 (which can tend to obscure whether there’s been a recent explosion of RPG discussion – as there has been for 5E – or whether things are comparatively quiet on the RPG talkosphere).

RANK	GAME					SCORE
1	D&D 5th Edition				1432
2	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 196
3	FATE					 170
4	Old School Revival (OSR)		 136
5	Pathfinder RPG				 102
6	Savage Worlds				  98
7	World of Darkness			  90
8	D&D 4th Edition				  89
9	Call of Cthulhu				  71
10	OD&D					  68
11	Traveller				  64
12	AD&D 2nd Edition			  62
12	Dungeon World				  62
14	Shadowrun				  57
15	13th Age				  51
16	Dread					  50
17	GURPS					  49
18	Dungeon Crawl Classics			  44
19	The Strange				  36
20	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  30
21	Star Wars: Edge of the Empire		  29
22	Warhammer 40K				  26
22	Numenera				  26
24	RIFTS					  25
24	Feng Shui				  25
26	Castles & Crusades			  23
27	ICONS					  22
28	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	  19
28	Apocalypse World			  19
30	Stars Without Number			  16
30	Star Trek				  16
32	Firefly					  15
32	Dragon Age				  15
34	AD&D 1st Edition			  13
35	DC Heroes				  12
35	d20 Modern				  12
37	BESM					  11
37	Warhammer FRP				  11
37	Deadlands				  11
40	Gumshoe					  10
40	Earthdawn				  10
40	The One Ring				  10
43	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			   8
43	Eclipse Phase				   8
45	HERO System / Champions			   7
45	Iron Kingdoms				   7
47	Exalted					   5
47	Gamma World				   5
49	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		   4
50	Hackmaster				   3
50	Colonial Gothic				   3
50	A Song of Ice & Fire			   3
50	CORTEX System				   3
50	Ars Magica				   3
50	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			   3
56	Fading Suns				   2
56	Mutant Chronicles			   2
56	Aberrant				   2
56	Other Superhero RPGs			   2
56	d20 Future				   2
61	Star Wars (d6)				   1
61	Marvel SAGA				   1
61	Smallville				   1
61	True20					   1
61	Brave New World				   1
61	TMNT					   1
67	Rotted Capes				   0
67	Alternity				   0
67	Silver Age Sentinels			   0
67	Villians & Vigilantes			   0
67	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		   0
67	Hobomancer				   0
67	Chainmail				   0
67	Paranoia				   0
67	Runequest				   0
67	Ashen Stars				   0
67	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	   0
67	Marvel Super Heroes			   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).

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