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D&D and Call of Cthulhu Climb Again in Roll20's Latest Stats

Roll20 has released its latest usage figures. These are for Q2, 2021. And they have a new fancy format!

D&D is, of course, still right up there at the top with nearly 54% of the market -- up from 53% in Q1 of this year. Call of Cthulhu continues its inexorable rise, climbing from 11% to 16%, and Pathfinder 2E gained from 1.5% to 1.8% (I'm told that most VTT action for PF2E happens on Foundry, not Roll20).

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Jaeger

That someone better.
You can keep repeating this, but, it really doesn't make it true.
I don't think there ever was any actual official numbers to back up the claim. The common consensus is mostly that yes, during 4e' last time, when there wasn't any new content and Mearls et al was working on 5e, PF did outsell 4e. But don't think it's 100% confirmed. Either way spinning it as PF generally was outselling D&D seems like a mischaracterization.

There wasn't any new content?

The truth will out.

2011 Releases for 4e: (I'm sure I missed some stuff)

Book of Vile Darkness December 20, 2011
Player’s Option: Heroes of the Feywild November 15 2011
Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium April 19 2011 September 20 2011
Madness of Gardmore Abbey boxed super-adventure September 20 2011
Neverwinter Campaign Guide Forgotten Realms August 16 2011
Player's Option Handbook: Champions of the Heroic Tier July 19 2011
Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale Box set June 21 2011
The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond. Box set May 17 2011
Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow April 19 2011
Deluxe Dungeon Master's Screen February 15


As of late 2011 4e was still putting out players option books, and campaign setting guides.

Hardly unsupported.

In January 2012, Wizards of the Coast announced that a new edition of the game, at the time referred to as D&D Next, was under development. 4e had only been out for 4 years at this point.

Why would they do this? Lets go back in time one year...

Pathfinder had already begun to outsell 4e On Merit in 2011.

Top 5 RPGs--Q2 2011
Top 5 RPGs--Q2 2011

Also, Lisa Stevens has no reason to lie here:
paizo.com - Community / Paizo Blog / Tags / Paizo / Auntie Lisa's Story Hour
Paizo Publishing's 10th Anniversary Retrospective—Year 8 (2010) - Following Up on Our Success - Thursday, November 1, 2012
This will be news to most readers: By the end of 2010, the Pathfinder RPG had already overtaken D&D as the bestselling RPG. It would take almost half a year before industry magazine ICv2 first reported it, and several quarters more before some people were willing to accept it as fact, but internally, we already knew it was true. We'd heard it from nearly all of our hobby trade distributors; we'd heard it from buyers at book chains like Barnes & Noble and Borders; we could see it using industry sales trackers such as BookScan; we were even regularly coming out on top on Amazon's bestseller charts. Each individual market we sold in had us either tied with or outselling D&D, and none of those sources counted our considerable direct sales on paizo.com. Put all of those things together, and it was clear: Pathfinder had become the first RPG ever to oust D&D from top spot.

Yes, it happened. While WotC was actively supporting and pushing 4e as the edition of D&D; Pathfinder outsold them on merit.

As someone who did not play anything "D&D" 4e or PF1 during that time, I have no axe to grind. I could actually care less about either version of D&D.

I don't understand why some have such a hard time accepting the fact that Pathfinder outsold 4e on merit. Certainly by early 2011. Timelines are a thing. It's quite straightforward.

As a result of which Ha$bro/WotC made the decision to cut their losses, and move to a new edition of D&D to right the ship.


I think WotC saw early on that 4e had split the fanbase; that PF1 was taking big chunks out of their market share, and it wasn't slowing down.

Perhaps 4e essentials was intended to rectify this?? But PF1 kept on chugging. By late 2010, early 2011, the writing was on the wall, and someone at WotC or Ha$bro made the decision to go to a new edition.

Which culminated in the D&D next announcement in 2012, when new product for 4e actually did fall off a cliff...

Personally, I would like to know who made the call to switch to D&D next/5e. That was a ruthlessly pragmatic business decision that had to have been made very early in 2011, when they were still had plenty of 4e products in the pipeline to roll out for the year.

That took some serious stones and foresight to make that call.
 
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As a PF2E fan, I have to say the situation does look bleak, I hope paizo can turn it around as I believe it's a great system and would be gutted if support for it dried up.
As others have pointed out, PF2 stats for Roll20 show ... how terrible Roll20 support for PF2 is.
I was playing PF2 online at Gen Con this week (along with thousands of others; 50+ tables running in many slots ) and I had a level 9 wizard in Herolab Online I needed to run in Roll20. Here is the procedure:
  1. Export JSON file from HLO
  2. Buy a premium login for Roll20
  3. Create a custom game
  4. Install a special javascript packages designed by a fan
  5. Create a blank character sheet
  6. Copy the JSON from the HLO file into the "GM Comments" box in the sheet
  7. Run the special macro
  8. Import character from the special server to your character bank
  9. Export character to your game
(steps 2-4) are unnecessary if you have a friend who has done this or use a public Roll20 server pre-configured.

At this point you have a. sheet with maybe 40% of the data filled in. No spells, so the next step is to copy, manually, 20 odd spells each of which have maybe 3-6 fields to copy. Plus some other stuff that doesn't work quite right.

... 2 hours to get a roll20 sheet working.

Then you have to add pictures and tokens, which is another manual step. And familiars or companions ...

Honestly, I'm surprised that even 2% of the games are PF2 on Roll20. Without a simple character import mechanism it's a PITA to work with.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As others have pointed out, PF2 stats for Roll20 show ... how terrible Roll20 support for PF2 is.
I was playing PF2 online at Gen Con this week (along with thousands of others; 50+ tables running in many slots ) and I had a level 9 wizard in Herolab Online I needed to run in Roll20. Here is the procedure:
  1. Export JSON file from HLO
  2. Buy a premium login for Roll20
  3. Create a custom game
  4. Install a special javascript packages designed by a fan
  5. Create a blank character sheet
  6. Copy the JSON from the HLO file into the "GM Comments" box in the sheet
  7. Run the special macro
  8. Import character from the special server to your character bank
  9. Export character to your game
(steps 2-4) are unnecessary if you have a friend who has done this or use a public Roll20 server pre-configured.

At this point you have a. sheet with maybe 40% of the data filled in. No spells, so the next step is to copy, manually, 20 odd spells each of which have maybe 3-6 fields to copy. Plus some other stuff that doesn't work quite right.

... 2 hours to get a roll20 sheet working.

Then you have to add pictures and tokens, which is another manual step. And familiars or companions ...

Honestly, I'm surprised that even 2% of the games are PF2 on Roll20. Without a simple character import mechanism it's a PITA to work with.
For a home game - could you not just email a copy of the character sheet to the DM ahead of time and then use your home sheet, rather than stuffing it all into roll20?

For a Con game - well, this is why I don't bother with online Cons. :)
 


sevenbastard

Adventurer
I used to play 4e on Maptool and the homemade framework we used back then, and that's about fifteen years ago now, was fantastic. You could very easily do up every power - and, after first level, you only generally had to do one. And making monsters in Maptool in 4e took about 30 seconds. It was really a dream for VTT play.

Map tools had easy and intuitive map making, great lighting effects, good fog of war.

I miss it, but it's just easier to use one of the big boys.
 

JThursby

Explorer
Pf2e on roll20...
[snip]
Pf2e on Foundry... made by the community...
[snip]
That Foundry character sheet made me blush and purchase Foundry VTT immediately a year ago. I've never looked back, the community (especially the pf2e community) is great, development is active and fast, and I'm not being charged a monthly fee for basic functionality and storage space.

5e being dominant on roll20 is no surprise, but I am curious about why Call of Cthulhu is #2. Does it have particularly great support on roll20, or is it just the name brand system that functions the best within Roll20's considerable limitations? I've also heard Call of Cthulhu is particularly popular outside of the US while D&D isn't, perhaps it's the system of choice on Roll20 for non-US customers.
 



Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
The Roll20 numbers never have a great reference to trace back to. So each is an island on its own and they keep messing with the format.

The claim/debate that Foundry is where all the PF2 players are is impossible to check. They do not publish any numbers.

Fantasy Grounds has a fairly solid client for PF2 and release a lot of the official content with a link to Paizo to get partial credit for it. Generally those numbers don’t show great traction and show that CoC does well, which tracks the Roll20 results.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
ROTFLMAO.

The fact that you keep repeating that mantra of "on merit" as if that means anything pretty much says it all.

But, hey, you do you.

Timeline shown and sources (other than Lisa Stevens) linked.

Yet once again it has been established that Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
3.5/PF1 does well. While 4e continues to cry in the corner.
WotC scorched the earth when they tossed aside 4e and its fans.
EDIT: And AD&D is even beating 4E. :)
In any case, 3.5 and AD&D are lording it over 4E.

Mod Note:
Wow. How childish. It isn't 3.5 and AD&D lording anything. It is YOU PEOPLE.

All of you are behaving like sore winners. It is not enough that you got what you want, you have to rub other people's noses in it, forever. This is not how to be a good person, folks.

It is well past time to stop. Move on, and stop reveling in the result of painful times. Be bigger people than this. Be better. Be kinder.
 

teitan

Legend
PF1e doubling PF2e...wonder why? Probably has to do with the fact there wasn't a real demand for it and PF1e was doing just great, then Paizo tossed it aside for PF2e like it was the best thing ever to come to gaming. :LOL: Bad idea to have their fanbase split apart, they could've gone strong with PF1e but I guess that's the point of a venturing risk...it's a risk for probably success or failure.
Because PF2 is more strongly supported by Foundry.
 

teitan

Legend
In defense of: "WotC scorched the earth when they tossed aside 4e and its fans."

They were compelled to.

WotC had already made an own goal of epic proportions with the switch to 4e.

PF1 showed that 3.5 still had legs for a good 4-5 more years. Give or take.

They had alienated part of the fanbase with the way they rolled 4e out, and continued to run into various issues early on. Which when taken all together, ensured that for various reasons; 4e was just not a very well received edition of D&D.

The proof in the pudding was the fact that 4e got outsold on merit, by a clone of the previous edition.

Yes, it happened... D&D, the all singing, all dancing, market leading mother of RPGs, got outsold by a clone of its previous edition.

For Ha$bro/WotC, this was an unacceptable situation.

Unacceptable. Period.

Whatever merits 4e had as a system were made irrelevant when Pathfinder took over the number one spot.

Good, bad, didn't matter. 4e was divisive for the D&D fanbase. Yes it had fans, but not enough fans!

It had to go.

So house was cleaned, heads rolled at WotC, and Mike Mearls herded cats on keyboards until 5e popped out the other side.

And we continue to see the proof today that WotC made the correct decision for D&D.

As soon as WotC gave D&D fans a reason to come back into the fold of "Official D&D"; they did.

PF got put firmly back into the number two spot almost immediately, and 5e has been putting all things Pazio way way back in their rear view ever since...




And in Pazio's defense of: "...then Paizo tossed it aside for PF2e like it was the best thing ever to come to gaming."

They had to do something.

Pathfinder 1 took the number one RPG spot from 4e on merit. But once 5e came out Paizo began to hemorrhage market share back to WotC like a bleeding swimmer at a shark frenzy.

By Pazio's own admission they never fixed the underlying math issues with 3.5. The Pathfinder rules were essentially an employees house rules laid on top of the OGL. Whether you want to admit it or not, the roaring success of 5e has shown that 3.x D&D had reached the end of its edition life cycle...

So Pazio had to do something to generate excitement for its brand and try and reclaim some of the paying customers lost to 5e. (IMHO Pazio was just trying to stop the bleeding, and even they had no notions about ever being the number one fantasy RPG anymore.)

Personally, I think that they waited too long, (almost 5 years from 5e's launch), and went in the wrong design direction. But it is easy to backseat drive with 20/20 hindsight, and tell other people what they should have done with their money.

While one can quibble that roll20 is not accurate for PF2 because it is better supported on other platforms, but given that the subject has been discussed at length on other threads, I don't feel I am being controversial at all when I state that I don't think PF2 was quite the success that Paizo was hoping for.

Regardless, the end result is largely as you mentioned; Paizo has essentially split their fanbase.
They also continue to support it interestingly, not with new product but the digest books have not yet gone OOP.
 

lud

Explorer
To better understand the level of integration of PF2 in Foundry.

You have all the ancestries, class features, feats, spells, items and monsters details in the system. To add an ancestry, feat or spell to your character you just need to drag it to your sheet. The sheet will change its values and add options based on your choices. This includes full descriptions of all those elements.

And they are kept up to date with the releases from Paizo.

In combat, conditions applied to a monster or character adjust the corresponding stats. A raging barbarian will see her AC lowered, the same for a monster made clumsy by a spell. A player cast a spell on a monster that requires a save... you just target the monster and click the "save" button associated to the spell DC in the chat. No need to check numbers on the character sheet or the monster entry in the bestiary. The system will even roll persistent damage and save for monsters at the end of their turn.

This is why it is the most recommended VTT for PF2.
 

Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
To better understand the level of integration of PF2 in Foundry.

You have all the ancestries, class features, feats, spells, items and monsters details in the system. To add an ancestry, feat or spell to your character you just need to drag it to your sheet. The sheet will change its values and add options based on your choices. This includes full descriptions of all those elements.

And they are kept up to date with the releases from Paizo.

In combat, conditions applied to a monster or character adjust the corresponding stats. A raging barbarian will see her AC lowered, the same for a monster made clumsy by a spell. A player cast a spell on a monster that requires a save... you just target the monster and click the "save" button associated to the spell DC in the chat. No need to check numbers on the character sheet or the monster entry in the bestiary. The system will even roll persistent damage and save for monsters at the end of their turn.

This is why it is the most recommended VTT for PF2.
That is pretty much in Fantasy Grounds as well, and Roll20 and FG posts some numbers every quarter.

Although there obviously is merit is arguing that Foundry has some PF2 players, there is nothing concrete to be looked at. So hard to just accept that somehow those numbers would greatly change everything.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
They also continue to support it interestingly, not with new product but the digest books have not yet gone OOP.

No reason to pulp old stock when they can at least get some money back for it over time.

Nice of them not to purge it though. Companies have done crazy stuff like that in the past...
 

darjr

I crit!
That is pretty much in Fantasy Grounds as well, and Roll20 and FG posts some numbers every quarter.

Although there obviously is merit is arguing that Foundry has some PF2 players, there is nothing concrete to be looked at. So hard to just accept that somehow those numbers would greatly change everything.
Good point. Is it possible that foundry has ten times the numbers of PF2 players as Roll20?
 

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