ENWorld’s Hot Roleplaying Games – December 2015

For the last go-around this year, let’s look at ENWorld’s 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 – for example, as associated with the D&D 5E release – or whether things are comparatively quiet on the RPG talkosphere).

Incidentally, the ENWorld site claims that they’re tracking posts on the Wizards and Paizo forums and giving separate scores for them, but this is utter bullshit – they did that briefly as an experiment and then stopped. All the figures on the chart do not include official publisher forums – and I think some of the changes this time around may have something to do with that, as you’ll see.

First up, let’s get the rankings and absolute scores:

RANK	GAME					SCORE
1	D&D 5th Edition				1426
2	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 222
3	D&D 4th Edition				 165
4	Pathfinder RPG				 124
5	Exalted					 114
6	World of Darkness			  91
7	Old School Revival (OSR)		  67
8	Savage Worlds				  34
9	Shadowrun				  30
10	Call of Cthulhu				  28
11	Warhammer 40K				  23
12	GURPS					  22
12	Traveller				  22
14	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  21
15	AD&D 2nd Edition			  19
16	Dragon Age/Fantasy AGE/AGE		  18
16	Dungeon World				  18
18	The One Ring				  16
19	Gumshoe					  14
19	What's OLD is NEW			  14
21	The Strange				  13
21	Feng Shui				  13
23	OD&D					  11
24	Eclipse Phase				  10
24	Stars Without Number			  10
26	13th Age				   8
26	Warhammer FRP				   8
26	Dread					   8
29	Deadlands				   7
29	Numenera				   7
29	Mutant Chronicles			   7
32	Star Wars (FFG)				   6
32	AD&D 1st Edition			   6
32	ICONS					   6
32	HERO System / Champions			   6
36	True20					   5
36	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	   5
36	CORTEX System				   5
36	Firefly					   5
36	RIFTS					   5
41	Star Wars (d6)				   4
41	Castles & Crusades			   4
41	Gamma World				   4
44	BESM					   3
44	Dungeon Crawl Classics			   3
44	Ars Magica				   3
44	d20 Modern				   3
44	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			   3
49	Hackmaster				   2
49	Other Superhero RPGs			   2
49	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		   2
49	Colonial Gothic				   2
49	Fading Suns				   2
49	Iron Kingdoms				   2
49	Apocalypse World			   2
56	Villians & Vigilantes			   1
56	Aberrant				   1
56	Alternity				   1
56	Earthdawn				   1
56	Smallville				   1
56	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	   1
56	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			   1
56	Ashen Stars				   1
64	Star Trek				   0
64	A Song of Ice & Fire			   0
64	Chainmail				   0
64	Silver Age Sentinels			   0
64	Brave New World				   0
64	DC Heroes				   0
64	FATE					   0
64	Hobomancer				   0
64	Paranoia				   0
64	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		   0
64	Marvel SAGA				   0
64	TMNT					   0
64	Runequest				   0
64	Rotted Capes				   0
64	Marvel Super Heroes			   0
64	d20 Future				   0
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				 DNC
--	Stage					 DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

Note that yet again the OSR score includes a contribution from Stars Without Number, which is also tracked separately, and so the OSR score should not be trusted.

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

RANK	GAME					SCORE
1	D&D 5th Edition				  =
2	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			  =
3	D&D 4th Edition				  =
4	Pathfinder RPG				  =
5	Exalted					 +1
6	World of Darkness			 -1
7	Old School Revival (OSR)		  =
8	Savage Worlds				 +2
9	Shadowrun				 -1
10	Call of Cthulhu				 +1
11	Warhammer 40K				 -2
12	GURPS					 +2
12	Traveller				 +1
14	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	 +3
15	AD&D 2nd Edition			  =
16	Dragon Age/Fantasy AGE/AGE		 -4
16	Dungeon World				 +8
18	The One Ring				 +5
19	Gumshoe					 +8
19	What's OLD is NEW			  =
21	The Strange				 +3
21	Feng Shui				 -4
23	OD&D					 -1
24	Eclipse Phase				 -5
24	Stars Without Number			 -3
26	13th Age				 -2
26	Warhammer FRP				 +7
26	Dread					 +5
29	Deadlands				 -2
29	Numenera				-13
29	Mutant Chronicles			 +2
32	Star Wars (FFG)				 +3
32	AD&D 1st Edition			 -5
32	ICONS					 -5
32	HERO System / Champions			 +3
36	True20					 +6
36	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	 -3
36	CORTEX System				 +6
36	Firefly					 +3
36	RIFTS					 +3
41	Star Wars (d6)				 +9
41	Castles & Crusades			 -6
41	Gamma World				 +1
44	BESM					 +3
44	Dungeon Crawl Classics			 +6
44	Ars Magica				 -5
44	d20 Modern				 +6
44	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			 -2
49	Hackmaster				 -2
49	Other Superhero RPGs			 +1
49	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		 -7
49	Colonial Gothic				 +7
49	Fading Suns				 -2
49	Iron Kingdoms				 +1
49	Apocalypse World			-14
56	Villians & Vigilantes			  =
56	Aberrant				 -6
56	Alternity				  =
56	Earthdawn				  =
56	Smallville				  =
56	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	 +7
56	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			 +7
56	Ashen Stars				  =
64	Star Trek				 -8
64	A Song of Ice & Fire			 -1
64	Chainmail				 -1
64	Silver Age Sentinels			 -1
64	Brave New World				 -1
64	DC Heroes				 -1
64	FATE					 -1
64	Hobomancer				 -1
64	Paranoia				 -1
64	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		 -1
64	Marvel SAGA				 -1
64	TMNT					 -1
64	Runequest				 -1
64	Rotted Capes				 -1
64	Marvel Super Heroes			 -1
64	d20 Future				 -1
--	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					SCORE
1	D&D 5th Edition				+119
2	D&D 3rd Edition/3.5			 -14
3	D&D 4th Edition				 +11
4	Pathfinder RPG				  +7
5	Exalted					 +43
6	World of Darkness			  -2
7	Old School Revival (OSR)		  +6
8	Savage Worlds				   =
9	Shadowrun				  -6
10	Call of Cthulhu				  -2
11	Warhammer 40K				 -12
12	GURPS					   =
12	Traveller				  -3
14	Mutants & Masterminds/DC Adventures	  +5
15	AD&D 2nd Edition			  -1
16	Dragon Age/Fantasy AGE/AGE		  -9
16	Dungeon World				  +8
18	The One Ring				  +5
19	Gumshoe					  +5
19	What's OLD is NEW			  -1
21	The Strange				  +3
21	Feng Shui				  -3
23	OD&D					  -1
24	Eclipse Phase				  -5
24	Stars Without Number			  -4
26	13th Age				  -2
26	Warhammer FRP				  +1
26	Dread					   =
29	Deadlands				  -2
29	Numenera				 -12
29	Mutant Chronicles			  -1
32	Star Wars (FFG)				   =
32	AD&D 1st Edition			  -3
32	ICONS					  -3
32	HERO System / Champions			   =
36	True20					  +1
36	Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space	  -2
36	CORTEX System				  +1
36	Firefly					   =
36	RIFTS					   =
41	Star Wars (d6)				  +2
41	Castles & Crusades			  -2
41	Gamma World				   =
44	BESM					   =
44	Dungeon Crawl Classics			  +1
44	Ars Magica				  -2
44	d20 Modern				  -1
44	Star Wars (SAGA/d20)			  -1
49	Hackmaster				  +1
49	Other Superhero RPGs			   =
49	Marvel Heroic Roleplaying		  -2
49	Colonial Gothic				  +1
49	Fading Suns				  -1
49	Iron Kingdoms				   =
49	Apocalypse World			  -4
56	Villians & Vigilantes			   =
56	Aberrant				  -1
56	Alternity				   =
56	Earthdawn				   =
56	Smallville				   =
56	Godlike / Wild Talents / NEMESIS	  +1
56	All Flesh Must Be Eaten			  +1
56	Ashen Stars				   =
64	Star Trek				  -1
64	A Song of Ice & Fire			   =
64	Chainmail				   =
64	Silver Age Sentinels			   =
64	Brave New World				   =
64	DC Heroes				   =
64	FATE					   =
64	Hobomancer				   =
64	Paranoia				   =
64	Golden Heroes / Squadron UK		   =
64	Marvel SAGA				   =
64	TMNT					   =
64	Runequest				   =
64	Rotted Capes				   =
64	Marvel Super Heroes			   =
64	d20 Future				   =
--	Dnd/Pathfinder				 DNC
--	Stage					 DNC
*DNC = Did Not Chart

This time around the score for D&D 5E continues to surge, with the game hitting the highest score it’s had in these charts since June 2015 – but its position is far more dominant this time around, with Pathfinder at a fraction of the score it was at during that period and no other game having a score much beyond 200. Now that 5E has been out for well over a year, it’s a positive sign that its position in these charts only seems to be strengthening, because it’s a sign that whilst past versions of Dungeons & Dragons still occupy a strong pitch in the marketplace of ideas, 5E is establishing a firm position as the lingua franca of the hobby.

The other big news this time around is the surge in Exalted‘s score, and the widening gap between the two major White Wolf RPGs and their closest competitors in the non-D&D space. Predictable, thanks to the release of the Exalted 3rd Edition PDF and the news surrounding Paradox purchasing White Wolf, but still interesting.

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