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Here Are 2020's Most Anticipated Tabletop RPGs!

As I do every year, I recently took nominations for the most anticipated tabletop RPGs for the coming year, and then opened the floor to voting. Here are this year's winners - the most anticipated tabletop RPGs of 2020!

Previous winners include 13th Age (2013), Star Wars Force & Destiny (2015), Rifts for Savage Worlds (2016), Trudvang Chronicles (2017), Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition (2018), and Savage Worlds Adventure Edition (2019). Who will join their ranks this year? Read on to find out!

10 Cortex Prime (Fandom Tabletop)
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Cortex is an award-winning tabletop roleplaying game system that traces its origins back to the Sovereign Stone System in 1999, and the Serenity RPG in 2005, from which it takes its name. Over the next five years it appeared as the engine powering a series of other licensed RPGs, at which point it was rewritten from the ground up as Cortex Plus. Various iterations of this newer system were used in RPGs based on Leverage, Smallville, Firefly, and Marvel Heroic Roleplaying.

Cortex Prime is the newest version of this much-loved set of game rules, refined and redesigned by Cam Banks. It embraces its roots as a means of adapting your favorite movies, television shows, and comic books, while emerging finally as a truly multi-genre modular roleplaying game in its own right.

9 Fading Suns 4th Edition (Ulisses Spiele)
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It is the dawn of the sixth millennium and the skies are darkening, for the suns themselves are fading. Humans reached the stars long ago, building a Republic of high technology and universal emancipation — and then squandered it, fought over it, and finally lost it. A new Dark Age has descended on humanity, for the greatest of civilizations has fallen and even the stars die. Now, feudal lords rules the Known Worlds, vying for power with fanatic priests and scheming guilds.

Nobles…priests…aliens…knights…starships…psychics…lost worlds…ancient artifacts…FADING SUNS

8 Stargate Roleplaying Game (Wyvern Gaming)
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The Tau'ri need your help in the fight against the Goa'uld. Stationed on an undisclosed location under the control of Stargate Command, you will start your training as a new recruit into the Stargate program.

The Stargate Roleplaying Game is a sci-fi tabletop game where you assume the role of a member of Stargate Command on a Stargate Team. As an SG team member you and your teammates will go on Stargate Missions guided by a Missions Commander in the fight against the Goa'uld. The rules are currently in development and are based on the 5th Edition Open Gaming License.

7 Rivers of London (Chaosium)
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Chaosium Inc. and author Ben Aaronovitch are pleased to announce that Chaosium has acquired the rights to produce the Rivers of London Roleplaying Game, based on Aaronovitch’s best-selling urban fantasy fiction chronicling the world of the Folly. The game will use elements of the company’s Basic Roleplaying system, as well as original, customized rules to reflect the series’ inventive take on the fantastic—from Newtonian magic to the strange powers wielded by the rivers and other supernatural beings that inhabit the popular novels and comics.

6 Swords of the Serpentine (Pelgrane Press)
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Swords of the Serpentine is a sword & sorcery game of daring heroism, sly politics, and bloody savagery, set in a fantasy city rife with skullduggery and death. The rules adapt the GUMSHOE investigative roleplaying system to create a fantasy RPG with a focus on high-action roleplaying and investigation inspired by the stories of Fritz Leiber, Terry Pratchett, Robert E. Howard, and others.

Your characters will discover leads that, if followed, propel them headlong into danger and forbidden knowledge. A lead might point the way to sunken treasure, jungle ruins, the missing key to a sorcerous trap, or the true identity of a notorious murderer. The GUMSHOE game mechanics ensure that you’ll always notice leads if you look for them. It’s up to you to choose which one you’ll follow into whatever perils lie ahead, in hopes of fortune, glory, justice, or just staying alive another day.

If you want to track down foul sorcerers in a corrupt and decadent city, clamber through underground ruins to sneak into an enemy’s home and rob them, or wage a secret war against a rival political faction, you’re in the right place.

5 Warhammer: Age of Sigmar (Cubicle 7)
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The Age of Chaos saw the Mortal Realms overrun with violence and death, but Sigmar’s return and the beginning of the Age of Sigmar saw hope rekindled. But now Nagash, the Undying King and Lord of Death, has set a thousand-year plan in motion. The dead stalk the lands and the mighty Stormcast Eternals are stretched to the brink. The Realms need heroes or risk falling into a new age: The Age of Death.

When you play the Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game you will be taking on the roles of heroes of the Mortal Realms. Your disparate group are a beacon of hope in the Realms and it is up to you to ensure that light isn’t extinguished. You will drive back the forces of Chaos, Death, and Destruction and help to return life and civilisation to the Realms.

4 Fallout (Modiphius)
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The Fallout: Wasteland Warfare roleplaying game expansion will build on the narrative wargame experience of the tabletop miniatures game, and will include new rules for character creation, creating adventures in the wasteland, and more.

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare game designer James Sheahan is developing the roleplaying game expansion, that will let you explore the desolate wasteland of the Fallout universe, fight terrifying mutated creatures and encounter the denizens who make the wasteland their home.

Delve into abandoned Vaults, ruined cities, strange facilities, and antiquated military bases. Encounter Super Mutants, Raiders, Survivors, Vault Dwellers, the Brotherhood of Steel, the Institute and the Enclave, and many more! Will you roam wide and far, or build up and protect your settlement? For those who want to create their own unique characters, use the faction based Archetype cards to start your own hero and see them grow from adventure to adventure.

Modiphius are developing two unique tabletop roleplaying game products based on the Fallout® videogame franchise. The first expanding on the narrative wargame experience of Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, their licensed tabletop miniatures game, while a second more traditional tabletop RPG will follow using the company’s 2d20 System (as seen in Mutant Chronicles, Infinity, Conan, Star Trek Adventures, and John Carter of Mars) in 2020.

3 Cyberpunk Red (R. Talsorian Games)
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Cyberpunk Red is the latest edition of the classic roleplaying game of the Dark Future, featuring updated mechanics and new lore from the era between 2020 and 2077. We’re working hard on it now and it will be released when its ready. Until then, the Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit is a starter set with everything you need to play the game: essential rules, customizable pregenerated characters, new world lore, some amazing dice made by Q Workshop, and more.

2 Vaesen - Nordic Horror Roleplaying (Free League)
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In dark forests, beyond the mountains, by black lakes in hidden groves. At your doorstep. In the shadows, something stirs. Strange beings. Twisted creatures, lurking at the edge of vision. Watching. Waiting. Unseen by most, but not by you. You see them for what they really are.

Vaesen.

Vaesen - Nordic Horror Roleplaying
is a brand new RPG line from Free League Publishing. Written by award-winning author Nils Hintze (Tales From the Loop RPG) and based on the work of Swedish illustrator and author Johan Egerkrans, Vaesen presents a dark Gothic setting steeped in Nordic folklore and old myths of Scandinavia. The game mechanics use an adapted version of the award-winning Year Zero Engine.

1 Dune (Modiphius)
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There's not a lot known about Modiphius' upcoming Dune RPG. The agreement was signed in August 2018, with Gale Force Nine as the 'master licensee'; Andy Peregrine has been confirmed as the line manager; and there's a mailing list you can sign up to. It's probably powered by Modiphius' 2d20 system, and it was #6 in the list last year (sometimes games remain anticipated for longer than a year). And that's about all we know! However, this is the most anticipated tabletop RPG of the year!

Congratulations to the 10 Most Anticipated Tabletop RPGs of 2020! Same time, same place next year!

Of these ten, five are licensed properties, three are new editions, and two are new properties. Modiphius features twice, the Swedish contingent has done well as it always does, while the UK has four entries in the top ten. Six of the top ten are sci-fi games.


PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE ANNUAL EN WORLD MOST ANTICIPATED TABLETOP RPG OF THE YEAR
#201320152016201720182019
113th AgeStar Wars Force & DestinyRifts for Savage WorldsTrudvang ChroniclesVampire: The Masquerade 5th EditionSavage Worlds Adventure Edition
2NumeneraDeluxe Exalted 3rd EditionMutant Crawl ClassicsTales from the LoopWarhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth EditionPathfinder 2nd Edition
3Star Wars Edge of the EmpireUnified Rolemaster7th Sea 2nd EditionKult: Divinity LostKult: Divinity LostLex Arcana
4Shadowrun 5th EditionConan Adventures In An Age Undreamed OfConan Adventures In An Age Undreamed OfStar Trek AdventuresForbidden Lands: Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPGThe Expanse
5Call of Cthulhu 7th EditionDeluxe Tunnels & TrollsDCC LankhmarConan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed OfRuneQuest: Role-playing in GloranthaEclipse Phase 2nd Edition
6FireflyBarbarians of Lemuria: Mythic EditionRuneQuest 4StarfinderThe Witcher Roleplaying GameDune RPG
7Fate CoreFeng Shui 2Torg: EternityThe Witcher Roleplaying GameWarhammer 40,000 Wrath & GloryJohn Carter of Mars
8HillfolkFantasy AGEBlue Rose AGECoriolisThe ExpanseChangeling the Lost 2nd Edition
9TorchbearerParanoiaParanoiaDelta Green Roleplaying GameLegend of the Five Rings 5th EditionThings from the Flood
10-Shadows of the Demon LordDelta GreenAstonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2ENumenera 2: Discovery & DestinyJudge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000AD
 
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Anoth

Adventurer
Many of those look very good like Dune and Fading Sun. But the one I am probaly most looking forward to is Rivers of London. I am really into the urban arcana alot these days. And I am really hoping this is a good project based on the BRP engine and more like Cthulhu mechanically than runequest. Very hopeful on this one.
 

crazy_cat

Explorer
Is this this years (2020) list or last years (2019)? The last paragraph of the article confuses things somewhat, and the 2019 list provided at the end is the same as the '2020' list above?
 


Ulfgeir

Adventurer
Nice list. That Dune, Cyberpunk Red, and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar would make the list is not exactly surprising.

edit: hmm, Stargate is on place 8, but you say they got an honourable mention with no release-date?
 

imagineGod

Adventurer
Woohoo!

The continued success of "MoreDiceForUs" means more RPGs for us all too.

It is almost like Modiphius Entertainment sent a time capsule to record my childhood wants like Frank Herbert's Dune.
 

There was a Dune RPG released for d20 in 2000 or 2001. That's one book I regret not buying considering all the junk that did come out that I did buy. Did anyone play it? I like Dune, I read the original and all the prequels, but never read anything after, that Frank Herbert wrote. I was always kind of skeptical as to how this would translate to an RPG, I think it would take a group of non-casual players to work well. I'll probably pick it up if for nothing but just to read.

Edit: It wasnt d20.

This is interesting: The Dune RPG | Squaremans
 
Last edited:



imagineGod

Adventurer
There was a Dune RPG released for d20 in 2000 or 2001. That's one book I regret not buying considering all the junk that did come out that I did buy. Did anyone play it? I like Dune, I read the original and all the prequels, but never read anything after, that Frank Herbert wrote. I was always kind of skeptical as to how this would translate to an RPG, I think it would take a group of non-casual players to work well. I'll probably pick it up if for nothing but just to read.

Edit: It wasnt d20.

This is interesting: The Dune RPG | Squaremans
If I was to pick an era in Dune for tile play, the time of Muad'dib's Crusade across the stars at the beginning of in Children of Dune, since there is little pre-established fiction to ruin with PC choices there. ;)
 

If I was to pick an era in Dune for tile play, the time of Muad'dib's Crusade across the stars at the beginning of in Children of Dune, since there is little pre-established fiction to ruin with PC choices there. ;)

Didn't get that far into the series, always wanted to but just never got around to it. Maybe one day?
 





TrippyHippy

Adventurer
There was a Dune RPG released for d20 in 2000 or 2001. That's one book I regret not buying considering all the junk that did come out that I did buy. Did anyone play it? I like Dune, I read the original and all the prequels, but never read anything after, that Frank Herbert wrote. I was always kind of skeptical as to how this would translate to an RPG, I think it would take a group of non-casual players to work well. I'll probably pick it up if for nothing but just to read.

Edit: It wasnt d20.

This is interesting: The Dune RPG | Squaremans
No, it wasn’t D20. It was a D6 dice pool system called the “icon” system. However, the company that produced it, Last Unicorn Games, was bought up by Wizards of the Coast and there was a plan to re-release a D20 version. This never happened, as the Herbert estate withdrew the license.

Edit: ah...I just read your edit!
 

No, it wasn’t D20. It was a D6 dice pool system called the “icon” system. However, the company that produced it, Last Unicorn Games, was bought up by Wizards of the Coast and there was a plan to re-release a D20 version. This never happened, as the Herbert estate withdrew the license.

Edit: ah...I just read your edit!

I read earlier today that the writers of the system relied somewhat heavily on the assumption that future books would come out so there are some rules holes in the core book. Good thing I didnt shell out the $3K for it.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
I read earlier today that the writers of the system relied somewhat heavily on the assumption that future books would come out so there are some rules holes in the core book. Good thing I didnt shell out the $3K for it.
Well no, absolutely. I did actually buy it when it was released and it did have very high production values for the time, and some compelling ideas - but it made copious references to supplements that never came about. It’s worth a read, but not $3000.

I am looking forward to seeing what happens with the new game however.
 

There was a Dune RPG released for d20 in 2000 or 2001. That's one book I regret not buying considering all the junk that did come out that I did buy. Did anyone play it? I like Dune, I read the original and all the prequels, but never read anything after, that Frank Herbert wrote. I was always kind of skeptical as to how this would translate to an RPG, I think it would take a group of non-casual players to work well. I'll probably pick it up if for nothing but just to read.

Edit: It wasnt d20.

This is interesting: The Dune RPG | Squaremans
The d20 wasn't released...LUG being purchased killed it. The Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium was using LUG's house system. I had it, I sold my copy, and I often wish I hadn't...

But two fan conversions to d20 were made and the PDFs are still out there...
 


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