ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – December 2014

For the last time this year, let’s check in on ENWorld’s chart of hot 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 (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				1597
2	Old School Revival (OSR)		 421
3	FATE					 418
4	Pathfinder RPG				 345
5	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 326
6	Savage Worlds				 192
7	World of Darkness			 178
8	Traveller				 161
9	Call of Cthulhu				 158
10	OD&D					 126
11	D&D 4th Edition				 120
12	Shadowrun				 107
13	Dread					 106
14	Dungeon World				  98
15	AD&D 2nd Edition			  89
16	GURPS					  88
17	Numenera				  83
18	The Strange				  74
19	Star Wars (FFG)				  73
20	Dungeon Crawl Classics			  67
20	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  67
22	AD&D 1st Edition			  65
23	RIFTS					  60
24	13th Age				  55
25	ICONS					  52
26	Warhammer 40K				  49
27	Gumshoe					  45
28	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	  44
29	Dragon Age				  38
29	Castles & Crusades			  38
31	Apocalypse World			  35
32	Star Trek				  34
33	DC Heroes				  31
34	Stars Without Number			  30
35	Feng Shui				  27
35	Firefly					  27
37	Warhammer FRP				  23
38	Exalted					  22
39	Deadlands				  19
40	Earthdawn				  17
40	Colonial Gothic				  17
40	d20 Modern				  17
43	Eclipse Phase				  16
44	BESM					  15
45	Gamma World				  14
46	Iron Kingdoms				  12
47	The One Ring				  11
47	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			  11
49	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			  10
49	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		  10
51	A Song of Ice & Fire			   9
52	Aberrant				   8
52	CORTEX System				   8
54	Paranoia				   7
54	Hackmaster				   7
54	Star Wars (d6)				   7
54	HERO System / Champions			   7
58	Ars Magica				   5
58	Mutant Chronicles			   5
60	d20 Future				   4
60	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	   4
62	True20					   2
62	Brave New World				   2
62	TMNT					   2
62	Fading Suns				   2
66	Alternity				   1
66	Chainmail				   1
66	Marvel SAGA				   1
66	Runequest				   1
66	Rotted Capes				   1
71	Hobomancer				   0
71	Ashen Stars				   0
71	Villians & Vigilantes			   0
71	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		   0
71	Marvel Super Heroes			   0
71	Silver Age Sentinels			   0
71	Other Superhero RPGs			   0
71	Smallville				   0
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				 DNC
--	Stage					 DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

RANK	OFFICIAL FORA				SCORE
1	Paizo					3557
2	Wizards of the Coast			 917

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).

As mentioned last time, ENWorld has started tracking the levels of traffic for Paizo and Wizards’ official discussion boards. As the chart page on ENWorld explains, typically they don’t track official fora, on the basis that it would skew the charts unless every single official forum were tracked. Weirdly, they seem to be including the fora in the main charts, but this seems to be exactly the sort of apples to oranges comparison they claim to want to avoid, so I have separated them out here.

Here’s the chart of what’s moved and how much:

RANK	GAME					CHANGE
1	D&D 5th Edition				  =
2	Old School Revival (OSR)		 +1
3	FATE					 -1
4	Pathfinder RPG				 +6
5	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 -1
6	Savage Worlds				 -1
7	World of Darkness			 -1
8	Traveller				 -1
9	Call of Cthulhu				 -2
10	OD&D					 -1
11	D&D 4th Edition				 -1
12	Shadowrun				 +2
13	Dread					 -1
14	Dungeon World				 -1
15	AD&D 2nd Edition			  =
16	GURPS					  =
17	Numenera				 +2
18	The Strange				 +2
19	Star Wars (FFG)				 +4
20	Dungeon Crawl Classics			 -2
20	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	 +3
22	AD&D 1st Edition			 -5
23	RIFTS					 -2
24	13th Age				 -2
25	ICONS					 +1
26	Warhammer 40K				 -1
27	Gumshoe					 +7
28	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	  =
29	Dragon Age				 +4
29	Castles & Crusades			 -2
31	Apocalypse World			  =
32	Star Trek				 -1
33	DC Heroes				 -4
34	Stars Without Number			 +3
35	Feng Shui				 -5
35	Firefly					  =
37	Warhammer FRP				 -1
38	Exalted					 +7
39	Deadlands				 -2
40	Earthdawn				 -3
40	Colonial Gothic				 +3
40	d20 Modern				  =
43	Eclipse Phase				  =
44	BESM					 -4
45	Gamma World				 +3
46	Iron Kingdoms				 +2
47	The One Ring				 -5
47	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			 -1
49	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			 -2
49	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		 +1
51	A Song of Ice & Fire			 -1
52	Aberrant				 +1
52	CORTEX System				 +1
54	Paranoia				 +8
54	Hackmaster				 -1
54	Star Wars (d6)				 +4
54	HERO System / Champions			 +4
58	Ars Magica				  =
58	Mutant Chronicles			 -2
60	d20 Future				 -2
60	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	 -3
62	True20					 -4
62	Brave New World				 -4
62	TMNT					  =
62	Fading Suns				  =
66	Alternity				 +4
66	Chainmail				  =
66	Marvel SAGA				 -4
66	Runequest				  =
66	Rotted Capes				 +4
71	Hobomancer				 -1
71	Ashen Stars				 -1
71	Villians & Vigilantes			 -1
71	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		 -1
71	Marvel Super Heroes			 -1
71	Silver Age Sentinels			 -1
71	Other Superhero RPGs			 -1
71	Smallville				 -1
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				DNC
--	Stage					DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

RANK	OFFICIAL FORA				CHANGE
1	Paizo					  =
2	Wizards of the Coast			  =

Two things stand out to me here. The first thing is that, whilst it seems that there’s a larger pool of points available and higher scores for many games, at the same time a fair number of games have retained their relative positions in the charts, so evidently the tweak works.

The second thing is that the experiment in tracking posts on Paizo and Wizards’ official fora has gone completely wacky, with Paizo’s official forum attaining a completely crazy score. If this is supposed to only track game-related discussion on the forum in question, then assuming that the majority of game discussion on Paizo’s forums revolves around Pathfinder (though they do have subfora for various other RPGs, including recent editions of D&D), then that would mean that the discussion of Pathfinder is absurdly centralised; it’s much more likely that these scores are merely mean to track total posts to the forums in question, in which case the decision to integrate the scores into the main charts at ENWorld seems especially weird.

One thing I do notice here is that the OSR score is derived using this data file, which includes Stars Without Number – a game which, erm, also has its own tracking in the charts. Oops. So the OSR score might be worth taking with a pinch of salt.

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