Fantasy Grounds Game Stats for 2017: D&D 5E Up By 6%, Pathfinder Holds Steady!

It's time for the statistics which tell us what games are being played on Fantasy Grounds, the virtual tabletop. This always gives a great sampling of which games are popular at the moment. As usual, D&D 5E leads by a large margin, followed by Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, then Savage Worlds. "Core RPG" in the data below refers to Fantasy Grounds' 'default' RPG module, so can reasonably be viewed as the "other" option. These stats represent the whole of 2017.

Fantasy Grounds' Doug Davison notes that there is a bit of a dip around December, but that same thing happened in the previous two years.

See 2016's figures here. Over the year, D&D 5E increased again, this time from 58% in 2016 to 64% in 2017. Pathfinder held steady at 12%, and Savage Worlds at 6%, while D&D 3.5 dropped from 6% to 4%.​



RulesetUsage2017_PieChart.png


RulesetUsage2017_Top5.png


Ruleset Total Games
5E 395,748
PFRPG 74,551
SavageWorlds 37,693
3.5E 21,992
CoreRPG 12,704
Call Of Cthulhu 10,928
4E 9,948
MoreCore 8,975
Star Wars EotE 7,642
GURPS 6,176
AD&D 4,028
DSA 3,657
Castles and Crusades 3,638
WFRP 3,261
RolemasterClassic 3,208
WH40K 2,593
Numenera 2,507
Fate Core 2,300
VtM 1,852
Basic Roleplaying 1,482
Shadowrun 1,044
Mutants and Masterminds 1,006
World of Darkness 997
DCCRPG 783
d20 Modern 768
Grand Total 619,481
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
I ran the Zipf distribution on these data. The Zipf distribution is easiest to visualize: One plots the log-counts (taken from the data) on the log-ranks (here 1 to 25). (Note: These are natural logs.) A Zipf distribution says that the frequency of occurrence is proportional to the inverse of rank. A Zipf distribution fits if this plot is linear and negatively sloping. It's not though it is approximately so.

The Yule-Simon distribution would probably fit better but I don't have a program to estimate it (looking around there's one in R... I'll have to check). The usual explanation for something having a Yule-Simon distribution is "preferential attachment." Anyone who knows about making a game knows all about that!

View attachment 92626
 
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Tid.biT

Villager
For a little more math fun:

Gain in 2017 over 2016:

5e 395748-255004= 140744 (+55%)

PF 74551-53908= 20643 (+38%)

SW 37693-28002= 9691 (+35%)

3.5e 21992-27089= -5097 (-19%)

Other 89497-75117= 14380 (+19%)
 

Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
For people new to FG, let me give a few examples.

There are 2 community built AD&D rulesets (not licensed, mechanics only, as compared to the licensed rulesets which have all the rules text).

This one runs off of a heavily modified 5e ruleset base and is a 2e base with an extension to turn it to 1e:

https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?37777-Project-AD-amp-D-Core-Ruleset

This one runs off of Castles and Crusades ruleset

https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?36009-AD-amp-D-Ruleset

If you want to play Adventures in Middle-Earth (5e), then you use this extension for the standard 5e ruleset (extension is community developed):

https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?37167-Adventures-in-Middle-Earth

Extensions tend to identify themselves based on the ruleset they extend. So Adventures in Middle Earth will show up as 5e. AD&D (both versions) are rulesets so show up as AD&D.

Fantasy Grounds has a "generic" ruleset called "CoreRPG" that give dice rolling and text and map handling, but no real automation. Does not check to hit rolls, for example, where the 5e ruleset checks to hit, applies damage, does concentration checks automatcially, etc.

Many RPG have special die rolls and other features that CoreRPG does not have built in. Some there is a community ruleset built off of CoreRPG called Morecore that adds a ton of specific dice roles and other features, but still way less automation than the full licensed rulesets.

https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?34860-MoreCore-Ruleset

Morecore is a great base and you can make it rules specific via an extension like this for the Conan 2d20 rules:

https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showthread.php?36019-Conan-Extension-V-3-1 (go to the link in the last message in this thread for the most advanced version).

Here is the community rulesets forum for more examples:

https://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?92-Rulesets
 
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smiteworks

Explorer
Wow! Thanks for that. And really thanks for making your numbers available.

No problem. Every data point helps for those of us that like to analyze and predict stuff in the industry.
[MENTION=57770]AGR[/MENTION]aday

Yep, DSA is The Dark Eye. It gets consistent numbers; however, we had trouble trying to find a community dev to work on making an updated release of the ruleset when they rolled out the English version. We don't see any traffic or chatter about it on our site, so it must be getting organized and talked about completely off of the main FG site.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
Yep, DSA is The Dark Eye. It gets consistent numbers; however, we had trouble trying to find a community dev to work on making an updated release of the ruleset when they rolled out the English version. We don't see any traffic or chatter about it on our site, so it must be getting organized and talked about completely off of the main FG site.
'Das Schwarze Auge' used to be (and probably still is) the most popular RPG in Germany. For most Germans it's what got it all started (although 'Midgard', another German RPG was released at an earlier date, it was much more like a fan release while DSA was released by a major board game publisher and heavily promoted).

What I cannot say, is, how many German users there are on Fantasy Grounds.
 

Hussar

Legend
Holy crap that's a lot of games.

5e's running 33000 (ish) games per MONTH? WOW. Think about that for a second. Even if we posit that some people play multiple games, you're probably looking at somewhere in the neighbourhood of a hundred THOUSAND gamers. That's fantastic.

There's one thing about it, there's no more excuse for not being able to find a game.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Holy crap that's a lot of games.

5e's running 33000 (ish) games per MONTH? WOW. Think about that for a second. Even if we posit that some people play multiple games, you're probably looking at somewhere in the neighbourhood of a hundred THOUSAND gamers. That's fantastic.

There's one thing about it, there's no more excuse for not being able to find a game.

That’s an interesting question. When we see 33K 5E games in sequential months, is that 33K new campaigns started each month, or are the same campaigns being counted anew each month? The totals add them together, suggesting it’s the former.
 

damned

First Post
That’s an interesting question. When we see 33K 5E games in sequential months, is that 33K new campaigns started each month, or are the same campaigns being counted anew each month? The totals add them together, suggesting it’s the former.

They are games running each month. Not new games starting.
 

smiteworks

Explorer
A game that runs weekly would get counted as 4 games a month. Our available statistics don't allow for us to count distinct campaigns. If a campaign skips a month, it wouldn't get counted for that month. That is why you see drops around Christmas, for instance.
 

Nylanfs

Explorer
Hmmm, I wonder if you could get the name of the campaign reported also, then you could run it through a check for unique names in x month compared to y month.
 

JesterOC

Explorer
Interesting that From 2016 to 2017 about 172k more games being played in total. But at the same time 5e itself had 140k more plays. Which means from a certain point of view 81% of the growth comes from 5e. Pathfinder did great to hold its share with the influx.
 


Achan hiArusa

Explorer
Math errors

I ran the Zipf distribution on these data. The Zipf distribution is easiest to visualize: One plots the log-counts (taken from the data) on the log-ranks (here 1 to 25). A Zipf distribution says that the frequency of occurrence is proportional to the inverse of rank. A Zipf distribution fits if this plot is linear and negatively sloping. It's not though it is approximately so.

The Yule-Simon distribution would probably fit better but I don't have a program to estimate it (looking around there's one in R... I'll have to check). The usual explanation for something having a Yule-Simon distribution is "preferential attachment." Anyone who knows about making a game knows all about that!

View attachment 92626

I don't know what those numbers are supposed to be. On the X-axis Antilog 2 = 10^2 =100 and there are not quite 100 game systems or let alone Antilog 3 = 10^3 = 1000 game systems there. On the Y-axis Anti-log 14 = 10^14 = 10,000,000,000,000 or 10 trillion games played and since it tops at around 395,748 games played which the log of is 5.6 who ever made this program needs to correct those. The math is bad.

Given the large numbers a simple Arrhenius plot of log (games) vs. Rank would suffice.

I am curious what this type of plot is called I called it a Lalanne plot after Leon Lalanne the mathematician who first used it in my Astronomy thesis, but I never found out the actual name.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
I don't know what those numbers are supposed to be. <...> The math is bad.

The math is fine.

Those are natural logs, not log10. Given that switching from log bases is just a scale change it does not affect the linearity of the plot.

The reason I plotted log-log is because that's what is connected to the Zipf distribution and its generalizations. The Zipf is linear in log-log space, and that plot is close to it, though not perfectly so. I'm not familiar with the Ahrrenius plot (I assume it's just a semi-log plot) but it won't be linear and thus isn't useful in this case.

As to why I used natural log, just habit I guess. In statistics, natural log is the convention but maybe it isn't in other fields.
 
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damned

First Post
So its about 33K 5E games, not 395K as the lower table says?

Hi Morrus some will be one shots and Adventurers League. Some will be 2-4 sessions and some will be campaigns lasting many months. There is no way to extract the number of campaigns from the number of games with the reporting stats that are used.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Hi Morrus some will be one shots and Adventurers League. Some will be 2-4 sessions and some will be campaigns lasting many months. There is no way to extract the number of campaigns from the number of games with the reporting stats that are used.

They're all numbers too big to really imagine, whichever way you cut it! Our hobby is definitely still growing!
 


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