Best Selling Fantasy RPGs Sold on DriveThruRPG for 2023

Hurin70

Adventurer
Here's the list (with a shout out to my personal favorite, Rolemaster Unified's Spell Law, at #5):

Best selling fantasy RPGs of 2023​

  1. Fabula Ultima Atlas: High Fantasy by Need Games.
  2. Sandbox Generator by Atelier Clandestin.
  3. Exalted: Essence by Onyx Path Publishing.
  4. DRAGONLOCK Lost Dungeons: Master Set by Fat Dragon Games.
  5. Rolemaster Spell Law (RMU) by Iron Crown Enterprises.
  6. The Monster Overhaul by Skerples.
  7. Dragonbane Core Set by Free League Publishing.
  8. Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook by Green Ronin Publishing.
  9. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Lustria by Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd..
  10. EZD6 Book of Quests by RUNEHAMMER GAMES.
  11. M20 Victorian Age Mage by Onyx Path Publishing.
  12. Dragonix’s Deadly Denizens by Dragonix Books.
  13. Crucible of Legend by Onyx Path Publishing.
  14. Campaign Builder: Cities & Towns by Kobold Press.
  15. Old-School Essentials Advanced Fantasy (for Foundry VTT) by Necrotic Gnome.
  16. Whitehack Fourth Edition by WhitehackRPG.
  17. Megadungeon Monster Manual by OSR Publishing.
  18. Nochet: Queen of Cities (RuneQuest) by Chaosium.
  19. The Lair of the Leopard Empresses RPG by Mindjammer Press.
  20. Raiders of the Serpent Sea Campaign Guide (PDF Version) by Modiphius.
From https://www.geeknative.com/163491/t...9oPumD4uQCdaUeWMhwz2Ilte-Ccpf02X7VdwNWgEwT_FM
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Congratulations, @Nixlord!

And I never hear about Fantasy AGE, which turns out to mean ... not much. Plenty of people quietly buying the system.

Lots of good stuff on this list. (Obligatory shout-out to Monster Overhaul.)
 



Retreater

Legend
I keep hearing good things about Fabula Ultima. I've been reluctant to try it because I'm not really familiar with the source material of JRPGs or Anime. I wonder if I can even run it correctly.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I keep hearing good things about Fabula Ultima. I've been reluctant to try it because I'm not really familiar with the source material of JRPGs or Anime. I wonder if I can even run it correctly.
I have run the intro adventure for it which you can get for free, so you can get an idea of what it's about. The game is pretty heavily narratively influenced, and I'd say the biggest influences are Fate and Blades in the Dark. But that's putting it into a box too much: it really does strongly reflect what playing a JRPG is like, so you have a detailed combat system. Characters essentially take one action per round and you alternate between the GM and player characters acting.

The core mechanic is that characters have die ratings in different attributes, and you take two of them together to roll against a TN. The game has a really interesting mechanic where spells are either codified for use in combat, or built as rituals for out of combat.

Take a look at the quick start and I think you'll see if it's for you. I have really enjoyed it, for what it's worth. It's very different from tactical rpgs like PF2, but it has a pretty in depth method of character building and levelling up.
 


Aldarc

Legend
I keep hearing good things about Fabula Ultima. I've been reluctant to try it because I'm not really familiar with the source material of JRPGs or Anime. I wonder if I can even run it correctly.
Fabula Ultima basically takes the base resolution engine of Ryuutama* (aka "Hayao Miyazaki's Oregon Trail") and then layers on Fate-like aspects, invokes, and fate points, but then also adds a class-based system that involves "building your own character" through multiclassing. On this last point, a starting character begins at level 5, and they are required to have levels in 2-3 classes. Level 50 is max level.

* Like Savage World or Cortex, your four attributes (Might, Agility, Insight, Willpower) are rated by die sizes, ranging from d6 to d10. You roll two attribute dice (sometimes the same one) and then add them together, with attributes used depending on what's called for by the check, trying to equal or exceed the target number that the GM gives you.

IMHO, the Blades in the Dark influence is primarily restricted to its use of clocks and maybe abstract inventory. It also takes some cues from 4e D&D, though these are mostly things like utility rituals, encounter-building, monster types (e.g., swarms, soldiers, elites, champions, etc.), the Bloodied condition, and honestly the pre-release Worlds & Monsters book. However, unlike 4e, combat is Theater of the Mind, with the game basically saying positioning and distance is not important enough in most cases to matter except with things like flying monsters or some rituals/skills.

The game also takes a lot of narrative game philosophy from Vincent Baker and Luke Crane, which comes through strongly in the game advice. If you are familiar with Apocalypse World or other PbtA games, you will see the book incorporate similar design phrases and ideas. One reviewer I watched also saw influences from Mouse Guard and Legend of Five Rings.

In many ways, the game feels quite a bit like Cortex. However, the game doesn't cite either Cortex or Cam Banks as influences, and the author is pretty open about their main influences. So it was likely a case of convergent evolution that is more of a direct result of Ryuutama + Fate.
 

MacDhomnuill

Explorer
I must be into niche games more than I thought, I only bought two of those. Dragonbane and Nochet (itself a supplement for a niche game…). Interesting that most of the top sellers are more traditional games/complex games and none of the “narrative first” story games are in there.

Correction I bought 3 off the list, I forgot about EZD6 Quests.
 

Retreater

Legend
Fabula Ultima basically takes the base resolution engine of Ryuutama* (aka "Hayao Miyazaki's Oregon Trail") and then layers on Fate-like aspects, invokes, and fate points,
yikes
IMHO, the Blades in the Dark influence is primarily restricted to its use of clocks and maybe abstract inventory.
nervous shaking
The game also takes a lot of narrative game philosophy from Vincent Baker and Luke Crane, which comes through strongly in the game advice. If you are familiar with Apocalypse World or other PbtA games, you will see the book incorporate similar design phrases and ideas. One reviewer I watched also saw influences from Mouse Guard and Legend of Five Rings.

In many ways, the game feels quite a bit like Cortex. However, the game doesn't cite either Cortex or Cam Banks as influences, and the author is pretty open about their main influences. So it was likely a case of convergent evolution that is more of a direct result of Ryuutama + Fate.
hiding under a blanket

I guess my gaming experience is mostly in more "traditional" RPGs (read: D&D, Savage Worlds, Chaosium BRP). While trying to read a copy of FATE I purchased, the whole concept of the game went over my head. My PbtA games I've run went severely over the rails (I've been told I don't understand how to GM them). The other games you've mentioned I've either never looked at or never have heard of.

I think my primary difficulty with running games like PbtA and FATE (unless I completely misunderstand them) is that they strip control away from the GM and put it in the hands of a narrative "rules-lite" mechanic. You get things like: "You can't put a trap there and you can't call in reinforcements - unless they're specifically in the GM Moves you did during your prep. My character can't drop my sword because I have the 'sword is tied to my hands' Aspect."

Overall, I feel straightjacketed by these types of systems.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top