D&D's Lead Increases; Stars Without Number Surges In Latest Orr Group Report
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  • D&D's Lead Increases; Stars Without Number Surges In Latest Orr Group Report


    The Orr Group (who produce the Roll20 virtual tabletop platform) has just sent along its latest quarterly statistics which look at what folks have been playing over the last three months. The group reports that "Once again, 5th Edition is widening the gap as the most popular DnD option. 4th Edition activity decreased slightly, but the biggest change is that 3.5 Edition players seem to be migrating to 5e. This is a continuation of a shift we noticed in Q3, so it will be interesting to see if the trend continues in 2016." The statistics below are from Quarter 4 2015.

    Some other analysis provided by The Orr Group:

    • Stars Without Number continues to climb the charts, hopping over FATE since Q3.
    • We were also interested to see that, despite the big news that Paradox Interactive bought White Wolf from CCP in November, this hasn’t affected World of Darkness game activity on Roll20.
    • The latest season of Yogsquest by popular steamers Yogscast caused activity to double since Q3.
    • Increases in Smaller Games: We’ve also added new titles to the report, which were pulled from the Other Games umbrella section when we noticed an increase in activity. The recent release of the Fantasy AGE ruleset saw a nice pop of players, and Fallout 4’s popularity led to more people playing the Fallout RPG.
    • Increase in Non-English Games: We recently implemented Transifex to improve the accessibility of games and character sheets for non-English users. We were thrilled to see that, as a result, there’s been an increase in foreign-language games. We noticed in Q3 that players were using character sheets for two particular games, Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk and Das Schwarze Auge, so we added them to the report. This is an ongoing process and we’ll keep looking for ways to bring games to international players.



    The above is the short version. The Orr Group gets the data from Roll20 member profiles. Player numbers are derived from the "Enjoys Playing" and "Seeks Group For" sections; game numbers come from the "My Campaigns" section. Where percentages exceed 100%, that's because players list multiple games. There's a more in-depth description of the methodology here.

    D&D 5E is increasing its lead (there was speculation that its new lead would be short-lived, but so far it's still growing), although only by a percentage point or so. You can see the group's last report from October 2015 here. Much like Fantasy Grounds' report, the first few places are all flavours of D&D either current or past.

    Below is the "long" version of the data. Every quarter or so, we get data from three sources - Fantasy Grounds, the Orr Group (Roll20), and ICv2's surveys. By and large, they tend to agree.


    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Nylanfs's Avatar
      Nylanfs -
      Interesting info again.

      Edit: Yea! First!
    1. mrm1138's Avatar
      mrm1138 -
      I've never played Stars Without Number; all I know is that it's an OSR sci-fi game. Can anyone tell me how it compares (or doesn't) with White Star?
    1. ronaldsf's Avatar
      ronaldsf -
      Aggregating the data for 3.5e, 5e, and Pathfinder, comparing since D&D 5e took the top spot:

      (Note: I think the player sample size in Q1 might have been a typo, since it looks like usage of Roll20 increased over 2015.)

      =====
      2015 Q1
      =====
      Game sample size 36,514
      Player sample size 74,094

      1. D&D 5E: 7,719 players (31.99%) playing 8,844 games (25.75%)
      2. Pathfinder: 9,777 players (40.52%) playing 7,453 games (21.70%)
      3. D&D 3.5: 10,153 players (42.08%) playing 5,016 games (14.61%)

      =====
      2015 Q3
      =====
      Game sample size 39,969
      Player sample size 35,544

      1. D&D 5E: 14,292 players (40.21%) playing 12,031 games (30.10%)
      2. Pathfinder: 13,369 players (37.61%) playing 8,135 games (20.35%)
      3. D&D 3.5: 13,410 players (37.73%) playing 4,548 games (11.38%)

      =====
      2015 Q4
      =====
      Game sample size 38,199
      Player sample size 39,613

      1. D&D 5E: 16,897 players (42.66%) playing 11,991 games (31.39%)
      2. Pathfinder: 14,551 players (36.73%) playing 7,555 games (19.78%)
      3. D&D 3.5: 14,360 players (36.25%) playing 4,064 games (10.64%)

      Looks like an increase in Roll20 users and games for D&D 5e and Pathfinder overall, but D&D 5e is making a larger relative gain, particularly in the increase in # of players in Q4.
    1. occam's Avatar
      occam -
      Quote Originally Posted by ronaldsf View Post
      Aggregating the data for 3.5e, 5e, and Pathfinder, comparing since D&D 5e took the top spot:

      (Note: I think the player sample size in Q1 might have been a typo, since it looks like usage of Roll20 increased over 2015.)

      =====
      2015 Q1
      =====
      Game sample size 36,514
      Player sample size 74,094

      1. D&D 5E: 7,719 players (31.99%) playing 8,844 games (25.75%)
      2. Pathfinder: 9,777 players (40.52%) playing 7,453 games (21.70%)
      3. D&D 3.5: 10,153 players (42.08%) playing 5,016 games (14.61%)

      =====
      2015 Q3
      =====
      Game sample size 39,969
      Player sample size 35,544

      1. D&D 5E: 14,292 players (40.21%) playing 12,031 games (30.10%)
      2. Pathfinder: 13,369 players (37.61%) playing 8,135 games (20.35%)
      3. D&D 3.5: 13,410 players (37.73%) playing 4,548 games (11.38%)

      =====
      2015 Q4
      =====
      Game sample size 38,199
      Player sample size 39,613

      1. D&D 5E: 16,897 players (42.66%) playing 11,991 games (31.39%)
      2. Pathfinder: 14,551 players (36.73%) playing 7,555 games (19.78%)
      3. D&D 3.5: 14,360 players (36.25%) playing 4,064 games (10.64%)

      Looks like an increase in Roll20 users and games for D&D 5e and Pathfinder overall, but D&D 5e is making a larger relative gain, particularly in the increase in # of players in Q4.
      The increase in percentage of 5e games almost exactly matches the combined decrease in Pathfinder and 3.5.
    1. dd.stevenson's Avatar
      dd.stevenson -
      Quote Originally Posted by mrm1138 View Post
      I've never played Stars Without Number; all I know is that it's an OSR sci-fi game. Can anyone tell me how it compares (or doesn't) with White Star?
      No, but I can tell you that the reason for its popularity surge is almost certainly Adam Koebel's campaign on twitch and youtube.

      The first few weeks of this game are among the best, most tense gaming moments I have yet to see online.

      Edit: Also, I'm pretty sure SWN is free if you want to go check it out.
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      Never heard of this. Thanks for that link!
    1. Nawara's Avatar
      Nawara -
      Glad to see Stars Without Number getting some attention. I really like Sine Nomine's work, pretty much across the board.

      Quote Originally Posted by mrm1138 View Post
      I've never played Stars Without Number; all I know is that it's an OSR sci-fi game. Can anyone tell me how it compares (or doesn't) with White Star?
      I haven't played White Star, but the best way to describe Stars Without Number is that it's a sci-fi toolkit version of Swords & Wizardry (i.e., white box D&D), but with the addition of a skill system and a whole bunch of random tables. When I say toolkit, I really mean it. The guiding philosophy is sandbox gaming, so it gives you the tools to roll up just about anything you can imagine on the fly.

      The only classes are Expert, Warrior, and Psychic; you combine a background (similar to D&D 5e) and a class, pick your skills, and you have a character. The system is big enough to do Star Wars, Traveller, Trek, or any of a number of other things. FTL uses a Traveller-like mechanic.

      My favorite thing about it is that it uses the same system as Silent Legions (a modern Lovecraftian game absent the overexposed Call of Cthulhu monsters); the two books in combination is probably the best way to do an X-Files-type game. My least favorite thing is that I feel like the bonuses are small in comparison to the dice, but that's incredibly easy to house-rule away.

      The free edition at DriveThru has almost everything, but the Core Edition has the addition of some other things (AI characters, mechs that actually make sense, tables for rolling up societies) that make it a little more versatile as a toolkit. The various supplements each take the game in a different direction: Merchant campaigns, Espionage campaigns, Naval campaigns, Army campaigns, Cyberpunk campaigns, and Xenoarchaeology campaigns.
    1. mrm1138's Avatar
      mrm1138 -
      It sounds kind of like it's a bit more focused on hard sci-fi than White Star, which is a lot more space opera. It can also do cyberpunk and such, but it really feels a lot more geared toward Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off. I would definitely like to try out Stars Without Number at some point, but I highly recommend White Star. I played it at a convention, and it was a total blast!

      EDIT: Maybe "focused on" is the wrong way to put it. Perhaps "geared toward" is a better phrase.
    1. chibi graz'zt's Avatar
      chibi graz'zt -
      5e FTW!
    1. SerHogan's Avatar
      SerHogan -
      I don't see AD&D 2E unless that's included in AD&D.
    1. smiteworks's Avatar
      smiteworks -
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      It would be interesting to see them split. BTW thank you for making these numbers available. Very much. I do wonder if there would be a way to find out which of these are instances of the software being used as a reference.
    1. Olaf the Stout -
      There's a heap of games on here that I'd love to either try out or play more often. If only I had more free time and a group that was willing to give more of a go to games besides D&D. As much as I love D&D (and it's been my game of choice for many years), I'd love to stretch my roleplaying legs every now and then.
    1. jhilahd's Avatar
      jhilahd -
      Quote Originally Posted by mrm1138 View Post
      It sounds kind of like it's a bit more focused on hard sci-fi than White Star, which is a lot more space opera. It can also do cyberpunk and such, but it really feels a lot more geared toward Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off. I would definitely like to try out Stars Without Number at some point, but I highly recommend White Star. I played it at a convention, and it was a total blast!

      EDIT: Maybe "focused on" is the wrong way to put it. Perhaps "geared toward" is a better phrase.

      Yeah, it is more hard sci fi than White Star's Space Opera feel.
      10 levels, 4 classes. Human centric.
      AC works as a modifier either plus or minus on your die roll. It uses OSR descending AC. You need a 20 to hit someone or some... thing.
      It is very sand boxy, and glorious.
      I've played it, died in it, and run a couple of one shots. It's fun.
      It has a campaign setting that gives you enough of a frame to build in, but not finish things for you.
      Star system creation is fun, as is all the other tables included to build encounters, npc's, beasts and so forth.

      The base game is free, I think the only things you get with the purchase copy are Mech rules, and maybe a few more GM side things.

      For a free game it is a must. Sin Nomine is one of my all time favorite publishers. I almost have all their physical titles, and and at least all of them in pdf form.
    1. mrm1138's Avatar
      mrm1138 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jhilahd View Post
      AC works as a modifier either plus or minus on your die roll. It uses OSR descending AC. You need a 20 to hit someone or some... thing.
      I was about to ask if it gave an ascending AC variant the way White Star does, but looking at the free rules, I see that it would throw the combat system out of whack. 1d20 + target's AC + combat skill + attribute modifier + attack bonus seems a bit more complicated than it needs to be. Not that I wouldn't try it, but that seems like the sort of thing that might be distracting.
    1. sefnerr's Avatar
      sefnerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by SerHogan View Post
      I don't see AD&D 2E unless that's included in AD&D.
      Looks like 1e and 2e get grouped together.(smaller print under AD&D) Seems like they should get separate stats since they use different sheets on Roll20. ;-(
    1. jhilahd's Avatar
      jhilahd -
      No worries, to each their own, right?
      For what it's worth, I don't think its not any more complicated than ascending. An AC of 7 gives you a +7 to your roll against it.
      And you're rolling to hit 20 or more. That's it.
      Roll 1d20.
      Add the target's Armor Class. (say a 7)
      Add your combat skill(if any). (+1 I'm trained in pistols)
      Add your attribute modifier. (+2 dex)
      Add your attack bonus. (+1 for 1st level)

      I know I need a 20 to hit the Blitz-soldier heading toward me, with just the info above I have an 11. Without knowing his ac, I still have a 4.
      Either way, I roll a d20, I get an 8. Plus 11, 19. I narrowly miss the on coming white armored soldier. Lucky for me, they miss alot.

      It's couple of more numbers to figure out ahead of time, but you can write those out and just add the AC - then viola!
    1. Morlock's Avatar
      Morlock -
      jhilahd

      *squints* "...you know, that almost looks like...nah. never mind. It's nothin'." *spits*
    1. mrm1138's Avatar
      mrm1138 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morlock View Post
      jhilahd

      *squints* "...you know, that almost looks like...
      Sokath, his eyes uncovered!

      nah. never mind. It's nothin'." *spits*
      Kiteo, his eyes closed.
    1. Majuba's Avatar
      Majuba -
      Quote Originally Posted by sefnerr View Post
      Looks like 1e and 2e get grouped together.(smaller print under AD&D) Seems like they should get separate stats since they use different sheets on Roll20. ;-(
      Much as I personally love 1e and revile 2e, the rules are close enough to be grouped together - especially if that moves them up the list.
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