ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – April 2015

Time for another checkup of the ENWorld list of hot RPGs. Usual reminder applies: RPGs are scored on the chart based on what’s being actively discussed on as wide a pool of internet fora and blogs as ENWorld 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). What I present here are 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				1894
2	Pathfinder RPG				 675
3	Old School Revival (OSR)		 637
4	FATE					 394
5	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 314
6	D&D 4th Edition				 263
7	Savage Worlds				 206
8	World of Darkness			 175
9	Call of Cthulhu				 174
10	Dungeon World				 139
11	Traveller				 136
12	Shadowrun				 126
13	Star Wars (FFG)				 102
14	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  98
15	OD&D					  97
15	GURPS					  97
17	Dungeon Crawl Classics			  88
18	Dread					  81
19	ICONS					  80
20	The Strange				  73
21	Warhammer FRP				  65
22	Numenera				  60
22	Warhammer 40K				  60
24	Stars Without Number			  52
25	13th Age				  47
26	Dragon Age				  46
27	Star Trek				  41
27	Gumshoe					  41
29	Apocalypse World			  34
30	RIFTS					  31
31	Deadlands				  30
31	AD&D 1st Edition			  30
33	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	  27
34	Castles & Crusades			  25
35	Firefly					  24
35	The One Ring				  24
37	Iron Kingdoms				  23
38	Earthdawn				  19
39	Gamma World				  18
39	Eclipse Phase				  18
39	Exalted					  18
42	Chainmail				  16
43	BESM					  14
44	A Song of Ice & Fire			  13
44	Fading Suns				  13
46	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		  12
47	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	  11
47	d20 Modern				  11
49	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			  10
50	Hackmaster				   9
51	AD&D 2nd Edition			   8
51	Aberrant				   8
53	Ars Magica				   7
53	Star Wars (d6)				   7
55	HERO System / Champions			   6
56	Mutant Chronicles			   5
56	CORTEX System				   5
56	Colonial Gothic				   5
59	Other Superhero RPGs			   4
59	TMNT					   4
59	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			   4
62	True20					   3
62	Silver Age Sentinels			   3
64	Feng Shui				   2
64	DC Heroes				   2
64	Alternity				   2
64	Hobomancer				   2
68	Brave New World				   1
68	Smallville				   1
68	Runequest				   1
68	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		   1
72	Ashen Stars				   0
72	Rotted Capes				   0
72	Paranoia				   0
72	Marvel Super Heroes			   0
72	Marvel SAGA				   0
72	Villians & Vigilantes			   0
72	d20 Future				   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). At least, that’s according to the ENWorld writeup – though since I’ve not seen a game drop off the chart since the Dnd/Pathfinder and Stage categories dropped off, I’m sceptical about that.

Here’s the chart of the shifts in rank (probably more significant for higher-scoring games):

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

And here’s the chart of shifts in absolute score (which I believe to be more significant for lower-scoring games):

RANK	GAME					CHANGE
1	D&D 5th Edition				-212
2	Pathfinder RPG				  +4
3	Old School Revival (OSR)		 +59
4	FATE					 -67
5	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 -27
6	D&D 4th Edition				 +38
7	Savage Worlds				 +24
8	World of Darkness			 +14
9	Call of Cthulhu				  +1
10	Dungeon World				 +21
11	Traveller				  -7
12	Shadowrun				 +13
13	Star Wars (FFG)				 +14
14	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	 +16
15	OD&D					 +13
15	GURPS					  -6
17	Dungeon Crawl Classics			 +14
18	Dread					  -3
19	ICONS					 +11
20	The Strange				  +3
21	Warhammer FRP				 +12
22	Numenera				 -16
22	Warhammer 40K				  +4
24	Stars Without Number			  -3
25	13th Age				  +7
26	Dragon Age				  +6
27	Star Trek				  +6
27	Gumshoe					  +1
29	Apocalypse World			   =
30	RIFTS					  -5
31	Deadlands				  -4
31	AD&D 1st Edition			 -14
33	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	   =
34	Castles & Crusades			 -14
35	Firefly					  -2
35	The One Ring				  -6
37	Iron Kingdoms				 +12
38	Earthdawn				  +2
39	Gamma World				  +4
39	Eclipse Phase				  +8
39	Exalted					  -2
42	Chainmail				  +3
43	BESM					  +3
44	A Song of Ice & Fire			  +5
44	Fading Suns				  -1
46	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		  -2
47	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	  +1
47	d20 Modern				  -6
49	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			  -4
50	Hackmaster				  +1
51	AD&D 2nd Edition			 -33
51	Aberrant				  +1
53	Ars Magica				  +6
53	Star Wars (d6)				  -3
55	HERO System / Champions			  -1
56	Mutant Chronicles			  +1
56	CORTEX System				  -2
56	Colonial Gothic				  -4
59	Other Superhero RPGs			  +3
59	TMNT					  +2
59	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			   =
62	True20					  +1
62	Silver Age Sentinels			   =
64	Feng Shui				   =
64	DC Heroes				   =
64	Alternity				   =
64	Hobomancer				  +2
68	Brave New World				  +1
68	Smallville				   =
68	Runequest				   =
68	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		  +1
72	Ashen Stars				  -2
72	Rotted Capes				   =
72	Paranoia				   =
72	Marvel Super Heroes			   =
72	Marvel SAGA				   =
72	Villians & Vigilantes			   =
72	d20 Future				   =
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				 DNC
--	Stage					 DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

A little dip this time in the score of D&D 5E, perhaps because the release schedule for the game is currently looking a little sparse and there’s a bit less to discuss about it. At the same time, the redistribution of points doesn’t quite seem to be even, though it remains to be seen whether these trends hold on a month-by-month basis. One trend that has continued is the slow collapse in the score for AD&D 1E and 2E; 2E in particular is suffering quite badly, ranking lower than it has since I started tracking these charts.

Both games enjoyed a substantial boost in score from October 2014 onwards, which I’d theorised was down to the release of 5E stimulating discussion about all editions of D&D as people compare and contrast. It certainly seems like that in the post-5E landscape there’s room in the ecosystem for 3E/Pathfinder, with their more extensive character customisation, and 4E with its more rigorously balanced and methodical miniatures skirmish system, and even OD&D and basic versions of the game for those who want an iconic, rules-light experience, but 1E seems to be of somewhat more limited appeal and there seems to be little reason to opt for 2E over any of the alternatives. (To provide some anecdotal data, the Roll20 group is currently playing Planescape; at first it was proposed to run this with 3.5, but I and the rest of the players successfully lobbied in favour of 5E – and as it’s turned out, it’s been quite easy to translate the setting to the 5E system.)

Oh, and for some reason Stars Without Number is still simultaneously contributing to the OSR score and getting its own separate entry tracked, which can’t possibly be sensible.

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