2017’s Highest Grossing English Language Tabletop Roleplaying Crowdfunding Campaigns

2017 has been a great year for tabletop roleplaying crowdfunding campaigns. Millions of dollars have been raised to bring hundreds of games and accessories to life. Over the course of the year I’ve tracked 658 projects covering roleplaying games, supplements, accessories and a few related miniature, dice and licensed computer game projects. Of those 658, 38 were cancelled by their creators, 68 failed to fund by the deadline and almost 300,000 backers brought the rest to life. What were 2017’s biggest roleplaying projects? Well, I’m glad you asked…


The below list includes every campaign for a roleplaying game, or supplement, that raised $50,000 or more. 47 campaigns got on the list this year. US companies had the most $50k+ campaigns, 28 in total, which isn’t a surprise given that most campaigns are still created by US companies or designers. The UK comes a distant second with 8 entries, closely followed by Sweden with 6, Germany has 2, whilst Australia, Italy, and Spain all provide one entry each.

This list does not include miniatures, dice, maps, software, computer games based on RPGs, non-English language RPGs (although the new version of Nephilim Legende made over $250,000 in French on Ulule) or games from sites other than Kickstarter (not that I saw any in English on other sites that would have broken into this list anyway).

For campaigns that ran in currency other than US dollars I converted their final funding total to US dollars using current exchange rates.

2017’s Highest Grossing English Language Tabletop Roleplaying Crowdfunding Campaigns

1USNumenera 2: Discover and Destiny by Monte Cook Games $845,258
2GERTorg Eternity by Ulisses Spiele $355,992
3SWEForbidden Lands – Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG by Fria Ligan$342,984
4UKThe Yellow King Roleplaying Game from Robin D. Laws by Pelgrane Press
$225,075
5USA7th Sea: Khitai by John Wick $207,646
6USAStars Without Number: Revised Edition by Kevin Crawford$192,036
7USAMidgard Campaign Setting: Dark Roads & Deep Magic by Kobold Press
$191,428
8USAEclipse Phase, Second Edition RPG by Infomorph $187,307
9USADCC Lankhmar by Goodman Games $187,171
10USAChangeling: The Lost 2nd Edition by Richard Thomas $166,290
11USAMini-Dungeon Tome for 5th Edition or Pathfinder by AAW Games $165,468
12USAA Strange Box: Deluxe Boxed Edition of The Strange RPG by Monte Cook Games
$162,819
13USADusk City Outlaws by Scratchpad Publishing $154,155
14UKTraveller RPG: The Great Rift & Deep Space Exploration by Matthew Sprange$153,038
15SWEMutant: Mechatron – Rise of the Robots Roleplaying by Fria Ligan$142,865
16SWELexOccultum by RiotMinds$136,002
17USAHow to Write Adventure Modules That Don’t Suck by Goodman Games$125,456
18SWESymbaroum – Monster Codex by Jarnringen$125,037
19USATop Secret: New World Order – the espionage roleplaying game by TSR Games$123,168
20USAMonster Hunter International RPG: Savage Worlds Edition by Gallant Knight Games$122,985
21USAMonarchies of Mau Fantasy Tabletop RPG by Richard Thomas$118,534
22UKElite: Dangerous Role Playing Game by Oliver Hulme – Spidermind Games$116,830
23USAFlash Gordon RPG for Savage Worlds by Shane Hensley$109,892
24UKSigil & Sign – Cthulhu Mythos RPG where you play the cultist by Dominic McDowall – Cubicle 7$102,265
25UKCthulhu Dark by Graham Walmsley$96,617
26UKSpire RPG by Grant Howitt$96,448
27USAKids on Bikes RPG – Strange Adventures in Small Towns by Infectious Play (Jon Gilmour)$93,471
28SWEWestern – the Roleplaying Game by Askfageln$91,131
29UKA Touch of Class: 7 New Classes for 5th Edition by Morrus$91,006
30USACortex Prime: A Multi-Genre Modular Roleplaying Game by Cam Banks$84,430
31ESPFAITH: The Sci-Fi RPG Core Book and Miniatures by Burning Games$84,345
32UKLegacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition by James Iles$83,738
33USAPaladin: Warriors of Charlemagne by Nocturnal Media$82,769
34USAAces & Eights: Reloaded, a Wild West role playing game by Kenzer and Company$79,684
35SWESymbaroum: Karvosti – The Witch Hammer by Jarnringen$74,715
36AUSFragged Empire RPG: Expanded by Wade Dyer$71,811
37USATalislanta: The Savage Land by Stewart Wieck$69,146
38USAArcanis 5E RPG by Henry Lopez$67,063
39USAThe Deck of Many: DnD 5e Reference Cards by Cardamajigs$63,599
40USATiny Dungeons 2e - Minimalist fantasy roleplaying is back! By Gallant Knight Games$62,585
41USAAlternity 2017 - A Science Fiction Roleplaying Game by Sasquatch Game Studio LLC$62,043
42ITAJourney To Ragnarok: A Norse Mythology Adventure for 5e by Michele Paroli$61,391
43USAChronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 by Richard Thomas$60,593
44USAOutbreak: Undead 2E – The Survival Horror Simulation RPG by Hunters Books$59,295
45USAWearing the Cape by Marion G. Harmon$53,854
46GERAventuria Compendium – The Dark Eye RPG by Ulisses Spiele$51,709
47USAUnderworld Races & Classes for 5th Edition & Pathfinder RPG by AAW Games$50,304


Update: I have added a list of the campaigns in 2017 that received the most 'Backers' in the comments section below. Numenera still comes out top but the rest of the list see's a shake up.


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Comments

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
658 RPG Kickstarter projects in one year - that's almost two per day! And nearly all of them funded. Kickstarter was definitely one of those positive industry-changing things - it's so much easier now to break into and make money publishing roleplaying games.
 

AngusA

Visitor
This is a list of the campaigns in 2017 which got the most backers...

Numenera 2: Discovery and Destiny
4185
Forbidden Lands - Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG
3399
How To Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck
3247
Stars Without Number: Revised Edition
3143
Mini-Dungeon Tome for 5th Edition or Pathfinder RPG
3091
Kids on Bikes RPG - Strange Adventures in Small Towns
3069
Cortex Prime : A Multi-Genre Modular Roleplaying Game
2756
7th Sea: Khitai
2553
Eclipse Phase, Second Edition
2533
Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition
2500
A Touch of Class: 7 New Classes for 5th Edition
2454
The Yellow King Roleplaying Game from Robin D. Laws
2288
Torg Eternity
2282
Monster Hunter International RPG: Savage Worlds Edition
2058
Dusk City Outlaws
2048
Innocents, a truly terrifying roleplaying game
2035
Monarchies of Mau Fantasy Tabletop RPG
1970
Talislanta: The Savage Land
1963
Top Secret: New World Order - the espionage roleplaying game
1946
Midgard Campaign Setting: Dark Roads & Deep Magic
1933
DCC Lankhmar
1838
Cthulhu Dark
1747
Legacy: Life Among the Ruins 2nd Edition
1713
Tiny Dungeon 2e - Minimalist fantasy roleplaying is back!
1661
Mutant: Mechatron - Rise of the Robots Roleplaying
1653
Gametee: World's Finest Leather Notebooks for Gamers
1610
PALADIN: Warriors of Charlemagne
1516
Spire RPG
1483
LexOccultum TPG
1437
The Deck of Many: DnD 5e Reference Cards
1361
SYMBAROUM - Monster Codex
1251
The Tavern Companion
1244
Adventure Kit: Oath of the Frozen King
1231
Masters and Minions: A 5th Edition Supplement
1214
Elite: Dangerous RPG
1193
Sly Flourish's Fantastic Adventures
1171
Fear's Sharp Little Needles
1137
Traveller RPG: The Great Rift & Deep Space Exploration
1130
Drinking Quest: Liqour Before Honor
1119
Fragged Empire TPG: Expanded
1103
Journey To Ragnarok: A Norse Mythology Adventure for 5e
1082
Noir World
1067
Flash Gordon RPG for Savage Worlds
1027
A Strange Box
1011
Misspent Youth RPG: Sell Out with Me!
988
The Big Book of Maps
947
The Star on the Shore
922
Cold Shadows - Narrative Espionage Roleplaying
918
Treasure Decks for 5th Edition
902
Tome of Horrors: Reborn for Fifth Edition
895
Middarmark
893
CAVALIERS OF MARS, a tabletop roleplaying game
885
Underworld Races & Classes
882
Artifices of Quartztoil Tower - 5E Adventure - Only $10!
877
Sign & Sigil - Cthulhu Mythos RPG where you play the cultist
868
Alas for the Awful Sea
867
The Watch RPG
865
Lost Artifacts of Greyghast - A 5e Magic Item Compendium
856
Ebonclad: 5E DnD Thieves' Guild Settubg + 7 New Adventures
854
SIGMATA: This Signal Kills Fascists
854
New Paths Compendium: Pathfinder RPG Expanded Edition
840
Atlas Animalia - A book of monster variants
798
Remarkable Inns & Their Drinks - The Ultimate GM's Guide
794
Pigsmoke: A Roleplaying Game of Sorcerous Academia
789
Hyperlanes: Cinematic Scifi for DnD 5E
787
Limitless Monsters - 100 DnD5e monsters
767
 

Mam Bach

Visitor
Would love to see the whole list :)

Why did these fund and others did not? What did they do right? Interesting to note that significant numbers of these are based on existing products - supplements for dnd and Pathfinder, a WOD core book, several 2nd eds - which come with a pre-existing fanbase
 

flannel

Visitor
Well, I would say that we are (here at Many-Sided Dice) completely flattered to be mentioned on the "Most Backers List". I'd love to see the "top funded" and "most backers" done by categories, though... for example, Underworld Races & Classes (solid damn project, in our opinion) was a more discreet offering than, say, Talislanta. Neither really compare to (as someone already said) Changling coming out of the woodwork to Kickstart. None of those are really the same as Deck of Many (also great). Etc.

Our Kickstarter for Lost Artifacts of Greyghast (available in fine bookstores everywhere), for example, I think may have been the only one or one of very few to offer ONLY the book. No other products, no gimmicks, no additional stretches, etc. I'd love to see how 2017 went down for more "book" focused RPG Kickstarters (newer or independent publishers like us), established ones, accessories, larger bundles of things... (I mean, wow, 7th Sea was offering a frickin' library of stuff on their KS, hard to compare to "How To Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck" (another stellar product).

Super cool post! Very cool.

Thanks,

The Team at Many-Sided Dice
 
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AngusA

Visitor
Well, I would say that we are (here at Many-Sided Dice) completely flattered to be mentioned on the "Most Backers List". I'd love to see the "top funded" and "most backers" done by categories, though... for example, Underworld Races & Classes (solid damn project, in our opinion) was a more discreet offering than, say, Talislanta. Neither really compare to (as someone already said) Changling coming out of the woodwork to Kickstart. None of those are really the same as Deck of Many (also great). Etc.

Our Kickstarter for Lost Artifacts of Greyghast (available in fine bookstores everywhere), for example, I think may have been the only one (or close to it) to offer ONLY the book. No other products, no gimmicks, no additional stretches, etc. I'd love to see how 2017 went down for more "book" focused RPG Kickstarters (newer or independent publishers like us), established ones, accessories, larger bundles of things... (I mean, wow, 7th Sea was offering a frickin' library of stuff on their KS, hard to compare to "How To Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck" (another stellar product).

Super cool post! Very cool.

Thanks,

The Team at Many-Sided Dice
Thanks, and congrats on Greyghasts success this year :)

I know EN Publishing's own 'A Touch of Class' was a single book campaign too (#29 most funded; #11 most backers), and have seen a few others as they seem to be slowly gaining popularity. I think we'll see more of them in the coming years but still expect to also see the 'product line' Kickstarters that keep unlocking more books through stretch goals which feed the funding total but will also take a long time to completely fulfill. There is certainly an attractiveness to the "one book and that's it" campaign for both the creator and backers though.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
Torg Eternity included the entire original product line as pdfs, so that sweetened the pot for those like me who always wanted to play it way back but never got around to it. I bet the reason they made more money with less backers is related to the $200 cargo box pledge option that was just really, really enticing.
 
Why isn't Dungeon Fantasy on this list? Steve Jackson Games raised $176,450 from 1,587 backers, that should have put it at #10 on this list.

Edit - Never mind I am an idiot, Dungeon Fantasy funded in 2016.
 
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sstacks

Shane "Shane Plays" Stacks
Great post. I personally would also like to have seen the numbers ($ raised or # of backers, respectively) next to the name on the list.
 

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